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Nourishing Families’ Souls One Bowl of Kibble at a Time SPECIAL SECTIONS

Back to School

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High Holidays

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Table of Contents

AUGUST 2013/ Av-Elul 5773 | Volume 2/Issue 7

[Cover Story]

28 Pongo Fund: Pet Food Bank Nourishes Souls



UPFRONT 10 Images of Philanthropy ARTS & entertainment 34 Jewish Theatre Collaborative finds home FOOD 54 Break-the-fast recipes 56 Babka bake-off BUSINESS 58 Buy curious? Get Becki’s book SENIORS 60 Oregonian heads home to Israel to retire ISRAEL 62 New Year Old Memories 63 Water Hikes 64 Pursuing the Truth [Back to School/Special Section 12-25] Local schools expand in multitude of ways, A rabbi arrives at Hillel, Retired teacher reflects as students head back to school, History of Failing School, School shopping is dangerous,


[High Holiday/Special Section 36-55] Bend gets new ark and rabbi, Ringing in a sweet new year, Kids enjoy “backyard fort” during Sukkot, Eugene Sukkah Crawl, Holiday lessons on time, Salem welcomes rabbi, Break-the-fast recipes [Columns] 26 Fashionista by Kira Brown 48 Soundbites 52 Advice: Ask Helen 54 Chef’s Corner by Lisa Glickman 59 Money Matters by Conrad Pearson 62 Life on the Other Side by Anne Kleinberg 63 An Israeli in Oregon by Natalie Nahome 64 An Oregonian in Israel by Mylan Tanzer [Connect] 66 Happenings: Previews & Reviews 68 Happenings: Faces 70 Happenings: Calendar



Cover photo: Larry Chusid at the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank. Photo by Images by Floom Correction: An article in the July Oregon Jewish Life erroneously called Vera Katz the first female mayor of Portland. Dorothy McCullough Lee was the first female mayor of Portland, serving from 1949 to 1953, and Constance “Connie” McCready served as mayor from 1979 to 1981. Katz was Portland’s third female and fifth Jewish mayor serving from 1993 to 2005.




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ust as individuals reflect on the past year and plan for the next year as Rosh Hashanah draws near, so too do we at Oregon Jewish Life. It’s been a wonderful year. We’ve had the opportunity to introduce you to so many intriguing people on our pages. I get notes and calls from many readers asking how we keep finding so many interesting people to write about. The truth is I already have long lists of fun people and innovative enterprises that I’m looking forward to sharing with you in the coming year. But I love hearing from you. Does someone in your congregation devote themselves to helping others in a creative way? Have you worked with a business that helps the Jewish community function smoothly? Be sure to let me know. We can’t write about people and organizations we don’t know about. We don’t want to miss other people as special as Larry Chusid, who is featured in our cover story this month. Larry’s love for dogs and people inspired him to help homeless people feed their pets so they didn’t give up their own food to the fourlegged members of their families. The effort snowballed, and today the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank has provided more than 5 million meals for pets around the state and region. With the High Holy Days starting so early this year, we have special sections on both Back to School and the High Holidays. This issue is full of new leaders and programs ready to make schools and shuls exciting places in the coming year. Be sure to check out our new feature, Soundbites. Each issue we plan to give folks we run into the chance to share their short views on the question of the month. This month we asked six people “How do you use honey for a sweet new year?” We got some sticky replies! It’s one more opportunity to give people a chance to share their wit and wisdom. The coming year will be full of exciting features and innovations. Next month be sure to watch your mailbox for our new community resource guide. And our online Jewish life directory network will be live early in the new year. Shana Tova!



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Images of Philanthropy Floom brothers create artful views of Israeli life to raise funds for local Jewish life By Deborah Moon Harold Floom used his skills to help ensure the Jewish future 65 years ago. Now his sons Tobin and Jay are following in his footsteps, using their skills to do the same. After serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, Harold put his skills as an airplane mechanic/flight engineer to use when he volunteered to go to Israel in time to serve in the Jewish state’s War for Independence. He passed on his passion for Israel and Jewish life to all his children at an early age as they grew up in Portland. Daughters Noma Floom Marcus and Perri Eytan are raising their own families in Israel, where Tobin and Jay enjoy visiting and capturing photographic images of the culture and life that flourishes there. For 25 years, the brothers and their Images by Floom have been well known in Portland for their intimate, classic photographs of weddings and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations. After their father died at the age of 94 two years ago, Tobin and Jay were inspired to find their own way to express their commitment to Jewish life. Thinking outside the box in both their art and tzedakah, Tobin and Jay have created a collection of artwork of Israel that uses digital photography, painting techniques and computer technology. The brothers hope to use the collection to raise $100,000 for the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, which supports and nourishes Jewish life in Portland and around the globe. Tobin and Jay will donate 20% of all sales to the federation annual campaign. Their Israel series pictures will be on display at upcoming Federation campaign events including its Opening Kickoff, Women’s Philanthropy Impact and Super Sunday. The brothers hope to sell 300 paintings this year for a $90,000 donation and then plan to add an additional $10,000 of their own to bring the total contribution to $100,000. “Our mom, Lily, is very excited about this project being in our father’s honor,” says Tobin. The collection includes 25 photographs that reveal the many facets of Israel and life there. Tobin and Jay have used a variety of approaches to make each piece unique. In some they have turned portions black and white, in others the colors 10 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Jay and Tobin Floom, right, display some of the images from their Israel series from which they will donate 20% of each sale to the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. Photo by Deborah Moon

are saturated to provide a rich tapestry, while varied painting techniques further imbue the images with an unusual depth. Each piece is 32 by 48 inches on high-quality canvas with gallery-wrapped edges and a lacquered finish. The brothers will sign each piece and provide a certificate of authenticity. Each piece is available for $1,500. “We collaborated on which of our images to include,” says Jay. “We feed off each other’s ideas,” adds Tobin. “We are using our art as a vehicle to help the Jewish community.” Federation President and CEO Marc Blattner is a strong proponent of innovative community-building initiatives. “We are excited and greatly appreciative of this opportunity for the Jewish Federation from the Floom brothers,” he says. “Their commitment to our Jewish community and their generosity is inspiring. We hope they will sell many of their beautiful prints.” Federation Board Chair Michael Wiener is also impressed by the innovative endeavor. Michael says he and the Floom family have been connected for many years. Tobin photographed his wedding and all four of his children’s bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. “I love his work,” says Michael. “It is so fitting of the Tobin I know, that he is integrating Jewish philanthropy into his art and photography.” This isn’t the Floom brothers’ first unusual project with their art. For the past two and half years, the brothers’ art photos have been part of the Costco Road Show, a special event where merchandise is displayed and sold at various Costco Wholesale locations for a limited period of time. The photos for that show include images the brothers have taken around the world – Israel, Egypt, Greece, Thailand, Europe and Hawaii. The images include panoramic landscapes and village-scapes, up-close floral studies, still lifes and penetrating portraits – some of which are also reflected in the new Israel collection.

Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year.

Shanah Tovah “The life of Israel in our images is reflected with scenes including soldiers coming home from war to old men playing backgammon at a street-side table,” says Tobin. “It is images of Israel captured in unusual ways. These are real life stories turned into a timeless piece of art.” Jay’s shots of the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock provide crystal clear details. This also isn’t the first time they’ve reached out to help the community. “Over the years we’ve done bar and bat mitzvahs for kids who couldn’t afford a photographer. It feels good,” Jay says. The brothers emphasize they want this project to work for people on a multitude of levels. “There is no ‘no,’” says Tobin, meaning they will work with purchasers to meet their needs. If a parent wants to buy a piece for two children, Tobin says they will create and ship two halfsize pieces for the same price of $1,500. If a family wants to participate in the unique fundraiser, but doesn’t have room in their home to hang a large painting, the brothers have a long list of Jewish organizations that would welcome such a piece of art. The art will be delivered and hung along with a plaque created to honor that family’s donation to the facility. The first art photo was purchased by Neil Benaroya to be installed in the entryway to the renovated building at Maimonides Jewish Day School. Benaroya choose “The Twelve Tribes” image because it represents all Jews and MJDS welcomes a diverse student body. The Flooms have long ties to many Jewish organizations in the community. They attended Hillel Academy, the precursor to Portland Jewish Academy. Both Harold and Lily Floom served a term as president of the Hillel board. To set up an in-home consultation or an appointment to view the collection at the Images By Floom Southwest gallery (11000 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland), call 503-245-3676.


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Maayan Torah Day School Principal Aviel Brodkin and primary students display the Israeli flags they made on Yom Ha’atzmaut. This fall the school is expanding to include middle school.



With Rosh Hashanah beginning the evening of Sept. 4, school start dates this year are a challenge. Portland Jewish Academy won’t start primary and middle school instruction until Sept. 9, although sixth-grade orientation and kindergarten and first-grade classroom visits are on Sept. 3. The infanttoddler classes also begin Sept. 3. Maayan Torah Day School also begins the school year Sept. 9, but will hold a “Getting to Know You” session Sept. 3 for early childhood and preschool parents and students. At Maimonides Jewish Day School, Director Devora Wilhelm said the school wants to prepare children for the upcoming holidays, so they will start classes Aug. 28. Portland Public Schools begin classes Sept. 4, but “is asking principals to be mindful of their school community and avoid scheduling special events Sept. 4-6, in addition to working with families to support their start to school while observing their religious traditions,” according to the PPS website. Bend schools also resume Sept. 4, as do the Evergreen and Vancouver districts public schools in Southwest Washington. Eugene bucks the trend. Public schools start the classroom year Sept. 10 for elementary and middle school students. High schools start class Sept. 11, with ninth-grade orientation set Sept. 10.

[INSIDE] 13 What’s Nu at School? 16 Eugene Hillel Welcomes Rabbi Jack 18 Reflections of a Retired Teacher 20 Failing School Faced Challenges 24 Back to School Shopping Dangers

SPECIAL SECTION [Back to School]

Nuat s What’s

Maayan Torah expands to middle school



Just two years after opening with a preschool class, Maayan Torah Day School will open its doors this fall to 50 children from 2 years through middle school. Classes meet at 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland. Maayan Principal Aviel Brodkin notes, “The positive response from across the entire Jewish community for this kind of engaging and Jewishly rich education has been overwhelming.” Maayan prides itself on providing an environment rich in Jewish values that inspires children to love being Jewish. Excellence in education is the core focus at Maayan. As part of this mission, Maayan is under way in its process to receive its accreditation with the regional accrediting agency NWAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission). Surveys from staff, parents and students were generated, and the administration was thrilled to see the results. Kids responded 100% “I love being Jewish!”

Aliza Brodkin and Malky Goldblatt enjoy the playground.

New for fall, Maayan has hired Tara McDaniel as the general studies coordinator. She is an educator with 22 years’ experience teaching elementary education, specifically gifted and talented students. Brodkin says McDaniel is a major asset to the administrative staff.    Maayan Torah Day School of Portland: 503-245-5568

Maimonides expands child-centered campus Maimonides Jewish Day School will begin the school year Aug. 28 with a newly expanded and renovated building. The Lokshin Pavilion of Jewish Learning includes more than 3,000 square feet with room for four classrooms that can open together for large assemblies, an office, and a small library and sitting area in the large entryway. The building is named in honor of Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm’s grandmother, Bluma Lokshin, who died at age 103 with more than 4,500 descendants. “We believe every child is an olam molei, a complete world, and each makes the world a better place, so look at the impact she made on the world,” says MJDS Director Devora Wilhelm of her late grandmother-inlaw. She says that the potential of each child informs the primary school’s guiding principle of treating each child as a unique and valuable individual who is an active participant in his or her own learning. “As they plan lessons, we ask teachers to consider ‘How is this activity supporting each child’s development across the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual domains?’ ” MJDS enrolls a diverse student body in the primary grades. Maimonides Jewish Day School: 503-977-7850

Maimonides Jewish Day School is adding on. This expanded building was designed to be child-friendly says MJDS Director Devora Wilhelm. The landing at the top of the entry stairs can serve as a mini-stage, and an amphitheater that features banks of seating down to a large open area near the lower entryway provides a location for larger outdoor presentations.

More science and technology at Portland Jewish Academy This summer, Portland Jewish Academy’s lower school teachers went back to school at … PJA! Working with Sara Morton, PJA Middle School science instructor, teachers discussed, practiced and learned various ways to incorporate scientific thinking, experimentation and tools to expand on their current science curriculum.   Meanwhile, PJA increases student access to technology. In  addition to our computer lab, we now have iMac laptop carts that will be used by 4th – 8th grades, more projectors for use in both the middle and lower school, including kindergarten, and new SMART Boards for a couple of our classrooms. In addition we have added six more iPads to support learning in the lower school. Eleven day school teachers are taking part in an online digital learning class led by Sarah Blattner of Tamritz, which runs throughout the summer and will help teachers continue to integrate technology into their already rich units of study. PJA welcomes our new Technology Integration Specialist Matt Rosenberg. Matt was the digital teacher leader (as well as a history teacher and lacrosse coach) at La Jolla High School for nine years.

PJA middle school science teacher Sara Morton is sharing her expertise with her colleagues in PJA’s lower school.

Portland Jewish Academy: 503-244-0126


curiosity, creativity and compassion in children. Our curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, which stresses using the environment as a third teacher. The natural play area will provide children with the opportunity to explore, experiment and discover outside of the traditional classroom, thus forming independent and inquisitive learners,” says Gan Director Mimi Wilhelm.



SIMCHA SCHOOL Program for ages 3 through pre-B’nai Mitzvah offers children an experiential style of Jewish learning through music, dancing, and the arts. Our inclusive community is diverse, with a broad spectrum of levels of observance.

“The Gan has found a harmonious way to incorporate the environmental, creative, scientific and social elements our son needs to grow, all within a safe and nurturing environment,” says Gan parent Daria Martinez.

Leah Conley

Foundation School has new director, new hours

Through Tikkun Olam projects, interfaith experiences, and studying Torah, we strive to develop each child’s talents and connection to our Jewish traditions and teachings.

The Neveh Shalom Foundation School will begin the school year with options for longer days under new Director of Early Childhood Services Leah Conley. The Foundation School offers meaningful, developmentally appropriate, play-based early childhood education based on Jewish values and beliefs for children ages 2 to 5 years. “Our qualified and warm teachers encourage the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of our students in a dynamic environment by nurturing the creativity, curiosity and character of our students,” says Conley. The school hours will include early care and afternoon care options that extend the day from 8 am to 6 pm with two-, three- and five-day-a-week choices.

Give your children a real gift: the sweetness of Torah, the joy of being Jewish, the love of community, and a place to truly belong.

Previously Conley was the principal of a large synagogue school in Chicago, IL.  She earned her master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and her bachelor of arts from UCLA.  Leah is originally from Los Angeles, but has also lived in Osaka, Japan, where she and her husband, Josh, taught English, and Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked for the Jewish Federation.  She has two children, Elliot and Amelia. Foundation School: 503-293-7307 |

Dates for the 5774 school year:

September 21, 2013– May 18, 2014

The Gan, which welcomes a diverse group of children ages 18 months to 5 years, also runs a Mommy & Me program for newborns through 2-year-olds in collaboration with PJ Library. The Gan – Portland Jewish Preschool: 503-977-7850

Children nibble greens from Gan Neve Shalom’s organic garden.     

Ashland’s Gan Neve Shalom gets spinning wheel Gan Neve Shalom (Peace Garden) is an intimate preschool and kindergarten that blends the beauty, spirit and tradition of Judaism with the Waldorfinspired philosophy of early childhood education. The school recently acquired a spinning wheel, and the children are learning to spin wool. Located at Havurah Shir Hadash in Ashland, the school integrates universal values into the children’s everyday experience. The children are infused with spirit and learn gratitude, kindness and other Jewish values on a daily basis. Morning activities include baking, cooking, watercolor painting, arts & crafts, music and movement circles, storytelling, organic gardening, felting, spinning wool and creative play.

2 Shabbat mornings and one Sunday afternoon per month All classes are held at: P’nai Or of Portland 9750 SW Terwilliger Blvd. Portland, OR 97219 Phone 503-248-4500

Alexa Pollin Marcum and David Kuperus join Gan Director Mimi Wilhelm in the school garden.

Each year the program serves children from families with diverse spiritual and cultural backgrounds. In this rich community, each child’s uniqueness is honored and valued, and as they learn to relate to each other and mother earth in harmony, they become the peacemakers of the future.

Now accepting registration for 5774.

Portland’s Gan designs naturescape

Gan Neve Shalom/Ashland: 541-488-8887

Contact Deanna Cohen Education Director

Educational experts and one of Portland’s finest landscape architects are partnering to design a natural playground and “naturescape” at The Gan – Portland Jewish Preschool. “The Gan is a joyful Jewish environment which inspires


Beit Haverim Religious School

Open HOuSe Sunday, SeptemBeR 8, 2013 2:30 Religious School Kick-off/meet the teachers 2:45 Regular Class time

A student and her grandmother work on an intergenerational art project at Pomegranate Preschool in Ashland.

Pomegranate Preschool for the Arts installs garden Students at the Pomegranate Preschool for the Arts are excited about the installation of a keyhole garden, thanks to a grant from Jackson County Master Gardeners. Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland is the home of the Pomegranate Preschool for the Arts, an arts-centered Jewish preschool. Art, music and creative dramatics are offered each day at Pomegranate. The art program includes Intergenerational Art Days, which features students pairing up with older congregants to create artwork based on a Jewish artist. Cantor Bella Feldman teaches the music program, which is derived from the Music Together program and also from Jewish repertoire. The creative dramatics program is inspired by the students. Short scripts are developed with the children and are performed twice a year. Each Friday, Rabbi Joshua Boettiger joins the preschoolers for Shabbat. Eighteen students from ages 3 to 5 are enrolled at Pomegranate. School is in session Mondays through Fridays from 9 am until 12:45 pm. Parents choose the days their children attend. The teacher-to-student ratio is 1:4. Robin Heald is the founding director. Pomegranate Preschool for the Arts at Temple Emek Shalom (Ashland) 541-488-2909|

Enjoy refreshments while getting to know Rabbi Alan Berg and our dedicated Religious School Staff. Observe a class in session and learn about our curriculum or send your child to try out the class while you schmooze with other parents. Our Religious School offers quality Jewish education for children preschool age through teenagers. We also offer Hebrew classes, tutoring and preparation for B’nai Mitzvot, and Confirmation class.

Come see what we have to offer you and your family. • • (503) 344-4839 1111 Country Club Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97034

the Garrett Jewish Preschool

Where children blossom! The Gan, Hebrew for “garden,” is a preschool where your child can blossom, flourish and grow to make the world around them a more beautiful place. We’ve created an emotionally safe learning environment where your child will feel empowered to explore ideas, skills and an understanding of self. Children enjoy the renovated indoor play area at the Gan-Garret Jewish Preschool in Southwest Washington.

Gan-Garret Jewish Preschool expands indoor play area Along with the renovations at the expanded Chabad Jewish Center in Vancouver, WA, in time for fall, the Gan-Garrett Jewish Preschool will enjoy a renovated indoor play area. Since much of our winter weather keeps us under a roof, The Gan in Vancouver has added more sensory activities as well as gross motor attractions in its new indoor play area. Preschoolers can enjoy this tire pit and the climbing loft above it. Also, new for the fall, The Gan in Vancouver will be starting up its Music & Movement, Mommy & Me for infants, toddlers and their moms. Gan-Garrett Jewish Preschool: 360-256-0859 |

To visit our state-of-the-art facilities, to meet our exceptional teachers or to register your child, contact us at: |360 -256-0859 Vancouver, WA OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 15

SPECIAL SECTION [Back to School]

Eugene Hillel

welcomes its first rabbi

By Polina Olsen Rabbi Jack Melul and his wife, Shira, are welcome additions to Eugene’s Jewish community. Hired by Oregon NCSY/ Jewish Student Union Director Meira Spivak of Portland, Rabbi Jack will work as director of Eugene NCSY and serve as Hillel Oregon’s first rabbi. “It’s great having him here,” says Andy Gitelson, executive director of Hillel at the University of Oregon. “Until Jack and Shira came, we didn’t have a rabbi connected with our program. We had volunteer help from time to time, but no one who could give the energy and focus on a regular basis. It’s important to have a rabbi for that deeper Jewish connection. These two are on

FIND YOUR PLACE It is never too early—or too late— to love learning!

Neveh Shalom offers: • Full day preschool with partial day options • Innovative Jewish learning for K-12 • Bilingual after school care for ages 2-12 • Exciting array of adult learning options

For more details contact: Mel Berwin, Leah Conley, Congregation Neveh Shalom 503. 246.8831 16 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Rabbi Jack and Shira Melul at the 2013 AIPAC dinner. Photo by Oolite Photography

campus to meet students, help them on their Jewish journey and help guide them to explore who they are Jewishly.” “We can see the impact of a vibrant and energetic young Jewish couple,” Andy continues. “We were able to host our first Shavuot celebration. The university lost funding for conversational Hebrew, so they are setting up a Hebrew hour once a week at Hillel. They are working with us to have a weekly Torah and text study, and we meet monthly for ideas on how we can add serious Judaic value to Hillel content.” Originally from Manchester, England, Rabbi Jack’s family came from Morocco. He lived in Israel for seven years and received his rabbinical ordination from the late chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l. Shira Melul was born and grew up in Jerusalem and met her husband while teaching at a Jewish day school in England. The couple has two daughters, Debbie, almost 3, and Ruth, 8 months. “It is great for students to have a rabbi on campus that they can always turn to for support,” Rabbi Jack wrote in an email note from Israel, where he is currently leading a student tour. “We hope to run weekly, free-of-charge Hebrew and Torah classes, and we are planning a 10-week Maimonides program.” Jewish high school students also will have more opportunities. “NCSY offers Shabbatons, retreats, Shabbat Shebang weekends and social events.  “We ran a cheesecake buffet for Shavuot and the Yom Ha’atzmaut Israel 65 party joint community/Hillel student event. Our home is open anytime with freshly baked cake and hot tea. The students are the only family we have in Eugene, and we love being there for them.”  Contact Rabbi Jack Melul by emailing or calling 541-221-2073. Shira Melul is available at, 541-221-1934. . 

SPECIAL SECTION [Back to School]

As students head back to school ‌


Teacher looks back on satisfying career

Lena Benikov (standing on right next to Rabbi Emanuel Rose) with her first-grade class in 1996.



By Rich Geller A teacher shapes her students in many ways, sometimes just by listening. Lena Benikov, or Mora Lena as her students came to know her, retired this year after more than two decades at Congregation Beth Israel’s religious school. She found that the simple act of listening was the best way to connect with her students. “Why should they pay attention to me if I don’t pay attention to them?” Besides listening, Lena cannot overstate the crucial role that Pokemon cards had in her success and longevity as a teacher. Lena often found common ground with her students by actively listening to them tell her about the show-and-tell tchotchkes they would invariably bring to class. “That’s why when they bring something from home, a toy or a collection we should pay attention to them. I am so happy for Pokemon cards, all these years.” When the children would proudly show her their beloved treasures, Mora Lena would encourage them to pass them around to share with the class. This act of sharing helped to bring the classroom together. “It’s so much a teaching moment.” Part of the last wave of Jewish refusniks to leave the former Soviet Union, Lena arrived in the United States in 1990 with her husband and then 9-year-old son, Alex, and pregnant with her daughter, Michelle. A teacher in her native Ukraine, she had to demonstrate to the U.S. government that she joined the Communist Party only out of necessity to be able to teach. “I was always a teacher. That’s why coming to America to teach was like coming home.” There was no religious school at all in the U.S.S.R. “We were Jews by nationality, not religion.” In 1991 she began teaching at CBI, first as a kindergarten teacher and later first grade. When it came time for her own daughter, Michelle, to attend kindergarten at CBI, she would only go if she could sit in Mommy’s class! Lena especially enjoyed teaching first grade because at ages 6 and 7, “they still love school.” She explains that at that tender age, “It’s all about connecting with friends. Kids absolutely learn only through relationships. Even a teacher can be a friend.” As for why Lena is retiring now, she says that after 22 years, “It’s sort of time for me.” She is currently back at school herself, attending Portland Community College as she pursues an associate degree in art. As she begins the next chapter in her life, Lena insists she will be back to teach her grandchildren. Lena acknowledges that she will miss her students. “The kids at our synagogue (CBI) are very special. That’s hard to find.” She thinks the parents are pretty special too. “Jewish parents spend a lot of time with their children.” This is critical for building trust so that years later, when the stakes are higher, they will still listen to their parents. As Mora Lena advises, “Always listen to your kids and it will pay back later. It all starts with a Pokemon card and an interest in them.”

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CHEERING ON THE HOME TEAM – Principal Fannie Porter poses here with Failing’s 1924 baseball team. The principal made a point of attending every baseball and football game and track meet. Pictured from left, top row: Phil Rogoway, catcher; Sam Narod, manager; Miss Porter; L. Bader, first base and team captain; Harry DeBlasio, left field. First row, from left, Bernard “Golden” Minsky, third base; Tony Rogers, center field; Hank Sholkoff, second base; L. Bruno, right field; “Lud” Bernardinelli, shortstop. GROWING GARDENS – Students tend to Failing’s “school garden” circa 1917, part of a national movement to encourage community gardening and agricultural pursuits among schoolchildren. Dozens of local schools had their own gardens, and there were annual competitions to honor the best. By 1917, about 15,000 schoolchildren worked in 16 acres of school gardens – and had another 4.7 million square feet of home gardens under cultivation. The students were able to sell their produce at a “juvenile farmer’s market” in downtown Portland. PROUD GRADUATES – Principal Fannie Porter poses with the first graduating class of the “new” Josiah Failing School in 1913. From left, back row: Ginger Lippman, Emma Tonitsky, Abe Weinstein, unknown, Carl Peterson, (first name unknown) Ankeles, Max Himmelfarb, (first name unknown) Epstein, Harry Schulman; middle row: Barney Pearlman, Abe Weinstein (yes, a second Abe Weinstein), Fannie Porter, Morris Rogoway, Jack Gurian, Miss Florence Caughey (teacher), unknown, unknown; front: unknown, unknown, Sam Fendel, unknown, Archie (last name unknown). If you can identify any of the unknown pupils, please contact curator@


Failing School presaged challenges and opportunities of today’s schools By Sura Rubenstein As families, students and teachers contemplate the start of a new school year, consider the challenges confronting Fannie Gray Porter, principal of Portland’s Josiah Failing School, some 80 years ago. She had 600 pupils from 40 different countries, some with no English, who were eager to learn but needed to help their families make a living; all yearned to embrace the promise of education and a new way of life. That was Failing School: A melting pot, a challenge and an opportunity. Miss Porter, the daughter of an early Oregon City family, embraced it all, and in the process transformed hundreds of young lives. “I believe it is a privilege to teach these foreign-born children to become patriotic American citizens,” she told a writer for Sunset magazine in 1926. “And I have been more than repaid in my efforts. We number among our graduate students men and women who have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, musicians and substantial citizens in other walks of life.”

A tall, impressive woman whom some compared to Eleanor Roosevelt, Porter began teaching at the original Failing School on Southwest First Avenue and Hooker Street in 1902. By 1907, she was the principal, continuing in that post until her death in 1932. She arrived at school every morning by 7 am and expected punctuality from her staff – including her sister, longtime Failing teacher Kate Porter. “A good example goes a long way toward impressing an idea,” she told writer Beatrice Vincent for a 1927 profile in the journal Normal Instructor and Primary Plans. Named for Portland pioneer Josiah Failing – Portland’s fourth mayor, sometimes called “The Father of the Public Schools” – Failing was located in the heart of the old South Portland neighborhood. At times, as many as half of the pupils were Jewish, and another 20 percent were Italian. It was, to borrow the title of a student cantata once performed at the school, “The Meeting of All Nations.” The first Failing School opened in 1883 on Southwest First Avenue and Hooker Street, with eight teachers for 286 students in grades four through six. By 1896, the school’s enrollment had surged to 796, probably its highest enrollment ever. Thirty years later, in 1913, the “new” Failing School, the first reinforced brick veneer, fire-resistant school in the district, opened just two blocks away. Lou Gallo, a Failing School alum and later director of Neighborhood House, the settlement house started by the National Council of Jewish Women, recalled in a 1958 Oregonian interview that Porter was devoted to the school and her students, but had no tolerance for foolery. When the new school opened, he remembered that students were marched over in two lines from the old building “in strict order” to a drumbeat, and didn’t miss an hour of schoolwork. “By daily precept and example,” Vincent wrote, “Miss Porter is teaching those children what it means to be a good citizen.” She cited one example: If Porter found a piece of paper littering the street near the school, she’d pick it up herself and take it directly to a garbage can. “So deeply has this impression of neatness been imposed upon Failing pupils,” Vincent noted, “that the janitor of a local high school says he can pick out the Failing pupils, because they are neater.” “We tell the pupils that it is a poor sort of person who does only what is paid for,” Porter explained, “and that such a person will never get anywhere.” Students at Failing were seen as models in many ways. Oregon Governor Walter Pierce presented them with an American flag in 1927 for besting every other school in the city in a fire drill. The entire 670-strong student body, including three disabled students, was evacuated in 34 seconds, Vincent reported.

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AN ORIGINAL – Students pose outside the first Failing School (also see inset) in the early 1900s. One of the oldest schools in the Portland district, the original Failing School opened in 1883 at Southwest First Avenue and Hooker Street and housed students until the spring of 1913, when the second Failing School opened.

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No other school in the city came close. In 1925 and 1926, Failing’s Virginia Wright won the city’s spelling championship. Harold Davis won $10 for a poster he made for the Humane Society during Kindness to Animals Week. And Vincent noted, “Though other schools may have difficulty in finding time for everything prescribed in the curriculum … The [Failing] pupils are doing extra work.” The pupils tended a school garden, by 1915 had a school orchestra featuring violins, cornet and piano under the direction of Florence Caughey, and fielded respectable baseball, football and track teams. In fact, in 1915, Failing’s baseball team took top city honors. Porter always made a point of attending school activities, and was one of the sports teams’ biggest fans. “They play better,” she said, “when they know someone is interested.” Failing also encouraged civic involvement. In 1916, when the City Council debated what to do with Marquam Gulch, a notorious dumping ground eventually replaced by Duniway Park, Failing students busily wrote letters to the editor and helped fill City Council chambers during a hearing. “There are more than 1,700 children in the immediate vicinity of Marquam gulch who have neither playground or recreation center, and in fact no place in the open air except the crowded, dangerous public streets,” wrote Morris Cohen, a Failing 8th grader. “Marquam gulch, although now an eyesore … could serve as a recreation area for more than 6,500 children from adjacent neighborhoods.” Eventually the city decided to fill the gulch, and Duniway Park was dedicated in 1918. Porter, lauded by The Oregonian as “one of the outstanding elementary educators of the United States,” died in February 1932 at the age of 63 after a bout of pneumonia. More than 800 friends and former students attended her services in Oregon City. The Oregonian reported that “more ex-students of the Failing school returned for visits than any other grade or high school in the city” – a tribute both to strong school ties and to the dedication of Porter and her staff. The Portland School District closed Failing School at the end of the 1958-59 school year, after kindergarten through eighthgrade enrollment had fallen to 239 and was expected to drop below 200 because of urban renewal dislocations. Only a third of the building was being used. Remaining students were split, some going to Shattuck School and others to Terwilliger School, both now also closed. The building was used as a career center, a Portland Community College campus, a temporary home for Riverdale High School and now is owned by the National College of Natural Medicine. A Failing alumni group, formed in 1937, continued to meet into the 1980s. “We always talk about old Fannie Porter, the principal who would kill you if you came in tardy,” Moe Levin, then the group president, told The Oregonian in 1983. Longtime Portlander Bessie Harris described Failing as a special place in an oral history quoted in The Jews of Oregon: 1850-1950.

“Miss Porter, our principal, was just like a second mother to all of us,” she said. “Life was very close and very sincere, and teachers and students were very devoted to each other.” Sura Rubenstein is a Portland freelance writer. (Special thanks to Paul King, archival specialist with Portland Public Schools, for assistance with this story.)

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Fannie Gray Porter, longtime principal of Failing School, and her sister, Kate Igo Porter, who taught at Failing School from 1913-33, were dedicated to their students and had high expectations for them. In late 1915, Kate Porter, who lived with her sister in Oregon City, fell and severely fractured her leg. After four months – still unable to walk for several more months and continuing to be a patient at the old St. Vincent’s Hospital in Northwest Portland – The Oregonian reported that she “has gone every day recently from the hospital to the school” in an ambulance to help ready her pupils for graduation. The children had sent her flowers or letters of encouragement nearly every day, and she wanted to show her concern for them. gggggggggggggggggggggg Joe Mazurosky was a seventh-grade student at Failing School in 1920 when Fannie Porter arranged a debate among the students on the question: “Should women have the right to vote?” In a 1950 letter to the editor of The Oregonian, he recalled that he was one of three selected to argue for women’s right to vote. “I stepped to the platform … I orated eloquently. Now, the climax: ‘Why shouldn’t my mother and your mother have the right to vote? With women voting, we will have honest politics and there will be no more graft!’ ” Fannie Porter, whom he described as “a massive woman with a booming voice,” jumped from her chair, and he said, “in a voice that shook the rafters boomed, ‘Joe, you don’t know women!’ ” gggggggggggggggggggggg Failing, like many other schools, had an “ungraded room” for new immigrants, those who couldn’t yet speak or understand English. Porter decided to name it “The Opportunity Room” to accentuate the positive. The Oregonian, in a March 1920 article, called her move “an inspiration.” “In this class,” the paper reported, “there are some children who can’t speak a word of English when they start; some who haven’t had a chance, and some who have been given a wrong start, but all of them are glad to have the opportunity. Among the young people in the room is an Italian girl, aged 16, just arrived. Three days ago she was taught to give the pledge of allegiance to ‘her new flag, the StarSpangled Banner,’ and she can say it perfectly.” gggggggggggggggggggggg “The greatest trait required to manage these foreign children is tact,” Fannie Porter told a Unitarian women’s group in 1916. “Learn to know the boy as he is, know and understand his home life, and you will get the best there is in him. The real character of the boy must be understood, then work with him accordingly.” ~ Sura Rubenstein

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A SPECIAL SECTION [Back to School]

Girded for Battle: Back to school shopping is dangerous

By Debra Rich Gettleman Ah, shopping for school supplies. Is there anything ... worse? First of all, why do they need so darn much stuff ? I mean, honestly, are they really gonna use one pencil a week for the next 36 weeks? Plus, this school supply stuff really adds up fast. It was probably wrong to tell my son he could have the Mario Wii game if we netted out at under $100. His subsequent tantrum was rather embarrassing I must admit. After he composed himself, he looked at our $180 stash and said, “School costs enough. I think the teachers should just buy all the school supplies themselves and give them to students.” Of course I used that as a teachable moment to launch into a diatribe about the shattered state of education in the country (and particularly within our own state confines) and shared with him the rather disturbing fact that nationwide, teachers earn a whopping $.88 for every dollar earned by those in “comparable” positions. This might have gone over my 9-year-old’s head. But back to the chaos of the school supply aisle. It reminded me of Passover shopping on Devon Avenue at Hungarian when I was a little kid growing up in Chicago. (While this image may only be accessible to a few of you, it is such a perfect analogy that I had to include it.) Only instead of large Jewish women with short, complacent husbands bodychecking me in the macaroon aisle, here we had hordes of over-privileged children violently


grabbing the last few packs of sharpened pencils, staplers and highlighters with absolutely no regard for personal space, safety or courtesy. And the parents were even worse. One lady literally raced me to the dry-erase pen section after I foolishly pointed out its whereabouts to my dazed son, who’d been up and down the aisles three or four times without spotting them. She took the very last package of pens. “Um, excuse me,” I politely announced. “My son was on his way over to get those. I believe you heard me direct him to this section, and then you ran over here before he could get here and took the last package of pens. Don’t you think you’re being a little too competitive?” “Hey,” she smiled with self-satisfaction, “You snooze, you lose.” For a brief psychotic moment I thought about taking both of my children to purchase their school supplies at the same time. Instead I decided to make it a “fun” mommy and me outing for each child individually, complete with a post-shopping trip to the local fro-yo shop. Luckily by the time we got home, it was too close to bedtime to play out the second half of this cutthroat educational acquisition competition. We tabled it for the night. But let me tell you, come tomorrow morning, I am gonna be a force to be reckoned with. So if you see me coming down the aisle, accordion folder in hand, please, for the love of God, get the hell out of my way. Debra Rich Gettleman is a mother and blogger based in the Phoenix area. For more of her work, visit

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————————— By Kira Brown It’s that time again – time to get back to school! Outside of fall holiday shopping, it’s one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, filled with sales and savings. So shake off the summer sand from your beach vacations and trade in those flip-flops for back to school styles! My must haves for back to school are jeans, shoes, jackets and bags. Hitting the halls this fall are this season’s hottest trends in jeans. A new pair of jeans is a back to school staple for all. Printed jeans, solid colors and skinny styles are carrying over from spring. And of course, a great pair of dark blue jeans is always a wardrobe staple, if you’re in need. Shoes – oh glorious shoes! Look for great savings on shoes and all fashion for back to school season. This time of year, however, I’m searching for smart flats and sneakers, both comfortable options while establishing a new school or classroom routine. As the weather cools, opt for a leather bomber jacket this year in black or brown, to mix with your jeans or to match with a pretty, feminine floral dress. The masculinity of the bomber style paired with a floral dress creates an edgy, yet feminine, look. And a bomber jacket is a great wardrobe investment sure to earn its cost per wear for years to come.

Back to school in style with Juicy Couture Back Pack. Bright backpack by Hershel for men and boys



Bags and backpacks are a MUST for back to school, of course. And backpacks have become a style piece and statement of their own. My favorites include florals and bright neon colors for a splash of style. Along with your backpack, a chic wristlet is the perfect size to stash personal items inside your larger pack, easily accessible and easy to tote when the large pack full of books and homework isn’t necessary.

For the Guys…

Same thing for men and boys: jeans, shoes, jackets and bags. Time to grab a new one of each for fall. A new pair of jeans is always a great buy for back to school. And the Nike Air Max, a fashion-throwback from the ’90s, is making a comeback this fall for shoes.


Uniforms, simple and predictable, are becoming more popular throughout schools. If your school allows, check Old Navy and JC Penny for pants and shorts. Also, check your local uniform distributor and school for sales on gently used uniforms from previous years.

Back to School Cleanse

The weeks prior to school are a great time for a closet cleanse and purge. Outgrown or outworn items can be donated, filling consignment and thrift store shops with inventory for discount shoppers while creating space for your new wardrobe pieces.

Fun wristlets to tuck inside your back pack keeps personal items organized and at quick reach.

A pair of sneakers help you get a comfortable start for the new school year.



Photo By Deborah Moon

Nourishing SOULS

A simple bowl of kibble can help keep families together

Taken was one of the very first dogs Larry Chusid began feeding from the back of his car. “Taken and Ken were living on the street, and Ken was reluctant to accept food from strangers. He was worried someone would try to harm Taken. After seeing him a few times he finally accepted food from me for Taken. When I asked him why he had named his dog Taken, he said, ‘Because she’s taken. She’s mine and we’re family.’ This is an incredibly devoted team. Just earlier this year Ken took a huge step forward and he and Taken are off the street and in their very own apartment. To accomplish this Ken had to quit drinking. And the reason is because Ken decided that Taken deserved to spend her final years in comfort.” Photos courtesy of Pongo Fund 28 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

By Deborah Moon Even if no one asks, Larry Chusid has a knack for seeing a need and meeting it – whether it’s funny greeting cards or pet food for hungry families struggling to feed the four-legged members of their families. When Larry was 23, he dropped out of college to sell his Rabbi Rosenberg greeting cards, even though the store owners he approached told him no one was asking for Jewish cards. He told them his greeting cards were simply funny cards with a rabbi on them. During the 1980s he sold about 50 million cards in thousands of stores in eight countries. Since then he has been involved in a variety of charitable endeavors. After Larry’s 18-year-old dog Pongo died in 2007, helping other dogs was on his mind. When he saw dogs sleeping under bridges with their owners, he decided to focus on helping the animals in the homeless community. As he talked to those devoted pet owners, he realized he’d found a two-pronged need. The owners were feeding their pets whatever food they had. Not only was the food an unhealthy diet for pets, but the owners were going without the food they needed. “I saw a recipe for disaster,” he says. So Larry started making rounds every morning and evening to give out Canidae Natural Pet Food, noting that for many of the homeless, their pet is their only family. By helping them feed their pet, he was also enabling them to keep their own food for themselves. He provides those pets a high-quality diet with no corn, soy or wheat because, “Pongo lived well. He got many years he might not have had otherwise because he had a great diet. I learned other animals didn’t have that option.” Larry didn’t know it at the time, but that early work would lead to him establishing the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, which is dedicated to feeding dogs and cats of families in need throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Larry soon learned that pets weren’t

Daisy the Great Dane is a gentle giant. Photos courtesy of Pongo Fund

the only hungry family member in the mornings – most meal programs for the homeless are lunch or dinner. So he started getting up at 4 am to make egg sandwiches and almond butter sandwiches to take on his rounds, which ultimately grew from 20th Avenue on the east side to Lincoln High School on the west side. Initially he and two friends funded the effort. “It got bigger,” he says, adding it was a very satisfying experience. In addition to pet food, he began to provide organic oatmeal and Starbucks coffee, along with assorted dairy and sweetener options. “We all want choices,” says Larry. He believes that letting people choose cream or low-fat milk for their coffee provides added dignity. Soon he was feeding as many as 50 people, as well as their pets, all from the back of his car. While on his rounds in January 2009, a social worker saw him and stopped to ask what he was doing. He recalls he said “feeding pets and people,” to which she replied, “that’s not what you’re doing. You are feeding the soul of the family.” She told him she was on her way to visit

$10,000 Matching Donation In recognition of this story, the Hedinger Family Foundation will match every dollar donated to The Pongo Fund during the month of August, up to $10,000. Since The Pongo Fund buys its food at tremendous discount, a financial donation will go the farthest to help those in need. Donations can be mailed to The Pongo Fund, PO Box 8244, Portland OR, 97207. Or they can be made online at donation-page

a family that was falling apart. A month earlier, the parents had asked her to help explain to their children that there wasn’t enough food, and they were going to give their beloved dog to someone who could afford to feed him. Now that food was again in short supply, the young children were acting out in fear they would be given away too. “I knew I had to get beyond what I was doing,” says Larry. “She made me realize there was a whole community of people suffering. … Most are struggling privately, and they were taking their animals to shelters. I contacted the Humane

Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank: PO Box 8244, Portland, OR 97207 | | | 503-939-7555 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 29


Katie is a happy recipient of food from the Pongo Fund. Photo by David Childs Photography 30 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Greg, who has two dogs and the best smile, picks up his dog food. Photos courtesy of Pongo Fund

Society of the United States and asked them to tell me about animal surrender. The number one reason people surrender a pet is because of the cost of care, and the number one cost is food.” So he started to look for ways to keep pets out of shelters, give people hope and keep families, including their four-legged members, together. While attending a pet food show in Seattle, he stopped by the Canidae booth. He started chatting with the man at the booth, who asked about his project and what he needed. Larry told “Scott” he needed a large donation of quality pet food to get started and then the ability to buy more at substantial discounts. Scott told him he thought he could do that. Larry was dubious until the Canidae rep he knew returned to the booth and told him he was talking to Scott Whipple, co-founder of Canidae Natural Pet Food Co. With the donation of $125,000 in pet food, Larry needed a warehouse. The city of Portland “had some empty space and decided to take a chance … because sometimes things just make sense.” From November 2009 to September 2012, the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank used the city warehouse across from the Convention Center, right on the Max line, making it easy for those needing food to get to the warehouse the second and fourth Sunday of every month to pick up their food. Since October of last year, the Pongo Fund has rented warehouse space on Southeast 20th near Powell, just a couple miles from the site of Ankeny Hardware, his late father’s store. Larry says he learned a lot at that store, especially the importance of treating people well and the old-fashioned way of doing business where your word is as good as a contract. The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank has already provided nearly 5 million high-quality meals to pets of hungry families in 28 counties in Oregon and Southwest Washington. While Larry knows he can’t solve world hunger, he thinks he has a good chance of figuring out how to feed at least this region’s hungry dogs and cats. “This is my tikkun olam, this is my way of healing the world,” says Larry, with an almost ever-present smile on his face. He believes treating those who come to the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank with dignity and respect is one of the reasons people keep coming back. Not only do clients return regularly, the volunteers who help them are equally devoted. Many of the 30-some regulars have volunteered two Sundays a month since the warehouse opened 45 months ago. Volunteers greet clients, help them fill out pet profiles if it is their first visit, talk to them about spay/neuter options and emergency vet care, calculate how much and what kind of food they need and distribute the food – while

also checking in with the clients to see how they are doing. “It doesn’t matter what side of the table you are on – giving or receiving. We are all connected and share in the celebration. … We do it the old-fashioned way. We touch, we put arms on shoulders, we carry food to the car, we sit down and talk to them. … We are a place that gives a chance to animals that might not otherwise have a chance and gives hope to people who might have little else to be hopeful for.” “For me this is like a giant minyan … people are sharing personal details with a person who understands,” says Larry, who attended minyan at Congregation Shaarie Torah with his dad, Monte, after his mother, Bea, died in 1996. “If I could, I’d go to minyan every day. Minyan is always part of me. People are there for the same reason … they aren’t talking about the stock market or unnecessary details of life, they are talking about being human.” Before his father died in 2002, Monte asked Larry to be sure his friends weren’t forgotten and to attend their funerals and help ensure there was a minyan. Larry says he has attended a lot of funerals since then, and even used to fill in when someone needed a 10th person to say kaddish at the morning minyan at Congregation Neveh Shalom, where he became a bar mitzvah, as well as other congregations around town. Larry saw another need – the importance of meaningful mitzvah projects for bar and bat mitzvah students. When young people call wanting to help animals as part of their mitzvah projects, Larry ensures they have a meaningful experience. Bar/bat mitzvah students who have volunteered and donated to the Pongo Fund include Logan Sennet, Darcie Semler and Lindsey Sarah Stern. Taylor Goodman helped out too while on the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation. “We always want to make room and provide meaningful roles,” says Larry. “It’s an incredible compliment that people who volunteer are so deeply committed, and I get to be part of that.” Now 14, Darcie has continued to volunteer every two weeks at the warehouse during distribution. “She’s one of the lead volunteers at distribution,” says Larry. “She rocks the show.” Darcie says the experience means a lot to her. “It’s a direct way for me to help with something that I think needs help in our society,” she says. “When I’m there I really get the feel for how important their pets are to people. Being able to keep them together is amazing.” She is also impressed with Larry’s dedication: “He is a really amazing guy. When he thinks something should be changed, he really goes for it and helps.” Darcie adds that at the beginning of every distribution day, Larry emphasizes the importance of treating everyone with respect, and he tells an inspirational success story. Lindsey, who became a bat mitzvah at Neveh Shalom May 5, 2012, volunteered time at Pongo from February through the summer of 2012, and asked for donations to The Pongo Fund and Sunshine Pantry (a human food bank) in lieu of gifts. “Larry runs a really tight ship,” says Lindsey. “Each volunteer has a specific job to make the distribution process run smoothly.”

Darcie Semler, shown here with her dog Otis, volunteers at the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank distributions every two weeks. Photo courtesy of the Semler family

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Lindsey Stern spent several months volunteering at the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank as part of her bat mitzvah project. She was so moved that she asked for donations to the Pongo Fund and a human food bank in lieu of bat mitzvah gifts. Photo courtesy of the Stern family

Lindsey says volunteering at The Pongo Fund was extremely meaningful to her. “It was very difficult to see how hard life is for some people in this world. I saw homeless people stand in line to receive food for their pets week after week because they love their animals so much. I just knew that if they were not able to receive pet food at no cost, they would


be giving their pets the food they would need to feed themselves.” Lindsey says, “You could tell some of these folks were really down and out. Larry made sure each and every person was treated with dignity and respect.” Lindsey’s father, Tom Stern, adds: “Larry Chusid is a wonderful man. His unselfish and passionate commitment to making things easier for those in need is so admirable. When people go to Pongo, they leave with not only food, but also dignity and hope, which Larry also provides. I encourage our community to support Larry’s efforts.”

The concept of nurturing the pets of hungry families seems to make sense to many. Now a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Pongo Fund has received support from 17 foundations and more than 3,500 individuals. Last year Pongo Fund was the fourth-largest recipient on Willamette Week’s Holiday Give!Guide that listed more than 100 charities. Larry also wants to ensure he reaches the many families who can’t get to the Pongo warehouse. To help them, the Pongo Fund provides pet food to dozens of food pantries including Oregon Food Bank agencies like the Neighborhood House in Southwest Portland. “Since day one, I knew we had to get food where it is needed. If they can’t get to us, we will go to them.” “Now when someone gets a food box at Neighborhood House, if they have a pet, they also get great pet food. That makes the food box more valuable,” he says, noting they don’t then give up the tuna and other valuable protein for their pets. When Larry learned many children were giving up their own food to feed





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their pets, he offered to provide pet food to SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) Schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. When he first approached the Shaver School food pantry, organizers told him no one was asking for pet food. But Larry believes in the Kevin Costner quote from Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come.” So he asked the school to ask their food bank recipients if they needed pet food. The answer came back a resounding “Yes.” “People don’t want to ask for something they know isn’t there,” he says. “I said, ‘talk to people,’ and within days they had identified 20 families struggling to feed their pets.” That harkens back to his days of trying to persuade store owners to carry his Rabbi Rosenberg cards in 1980. No one was asking, but once they were there, they sold like hotcakes. Another need Larry jumped in to meet was feeding a herd of 22 starving horses that had been turned loose in central Oregon. Knowing that feeding the abandoned horses wasn’t enough, he teamed up with others to recruit professional trainers to train the horses so they would be successful in their new homes. He also sent pet food to help pets after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. And volunteers staff an emergency kibble response team to deliver needed food when emergencies arise. Larry is proud that his lay organization gets referrals from local, state and even federal government agencies. “As a volunteer-driven organization, we can’t make something happen overnight,” says Larry. “Sometimes it takes us two nights.”

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[ARTS and Entertainment]

Jewish Theatre Collaborative finds new home with old friends

Jewish Theatre Collaborative Artistic Director Sacha Reich with Miracle Theatre Group’s Founder and Executive Director José González.


By Elizabeth Schwartz Jewish Theatre Collaborative, Portland’s Jewish theater ensemble, celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Fledgling arts organizations come and go, and the fact that JTC launched its inaugural season in 2008, at the beginning of the Great Recession, makes this five-year milestone all the more noteworthy. But JTC has done more than merely survive; it has thrived, despite numerous challenges, including its most recent – the loss of its home theater space at Theatre! Theatre! in Southeast Portland earlier this year. “There are a limited number of performance venues in Portland,” says JTC Artistic Director Sacha Reich. “We lost two spaces in Southeast this year.” Fortunately, JTC has found a new home at Miracle Theatre Group, aka Milagro Teatro, located on SE Sixth and Stark, in inner Southeast Portland. In their joint news release, Miracle Theatre notes, “This is not a new relationship but an evolution of an artistic affinity a decade old.” That longstanding relationship extends to Reich and José González, Miracle’s founder and executive director. When Reich returned to Portland 10 years ago, she directed two productions for Miracle. She also served as their artistic associate. “We’ve stayed close,” says Reich. “The leadership at Miracle has played a significant role in mentoring me as I try to figure out what JTC could be to both the Jewish community and the broader community. José in particular has provided guidance on a number of things for JTC, from audience development to funding. There’s a respectful relationship between our two companies.”

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“... Neither Milagro nor JTC is interested in isolating ourselves artistically. We both want to find what makes us culturally identified but also universal.”

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ourselves accessible to the community at large? How do we support our artists and our cultural aesthetics and the telling of our stories, and also connect to the larger community that is hungry and curious about who we are and where we’re coming from? Neither Milagro nor JTC is interested in isolating ourselves artistically. We both want to find what makes us culturally identified but also universal.” With JTC sharing office space with Miracle, Reich and González and Sanchez will be in regular contact. “It will be easier to collaborate on how to reach out to the larger community with our stories and figure out how we draw people in. How does culturally specific work live in a diverse world, and how do we maintain our cultural identifiers without becoming a museum?” asks Sanchez. Reich adds, “We’re going into a situation without a lot of learning curves. It’s an exciting period for JTC. This season we’re presenting the next generation of our programming, and we’ll be able to focus on the work rather than worrying about logistics.” Once JTC is fully settled in its new home, both Reich and Sanchez look forward to collaborating on productions together. Reich is also pleased to be able to present all of JTC’s productions on Miracle’s MainStage, a black box-style theater that seats approximately 120. “You can make very good art in that space,” says Reich. “We’re really thrilled to be able to welcome audiences there.”


Officially, JTC will be in residency at Miracle, and the two companies will share office space and facilities, including Miracle’s main stage, costume shop and storage areas. “Part of our mission is to go to people where they are, and that’s been important from the beginning,” says Reich. “We’ll still perform at satellite venues around town, but having a home takes away the unpredictability of where we’re going to be long term. Knowing we have a home for the foreseeable future gives us an enormous amount of security, so more of our attentions can be focused on what we’re doing, rather than where we’re doing it.” While this residency is a win-win for both JTC and Miracle, it goes beyond mere logistical or financial gains. Olga Sanchez, Miracle MainStage’s artistic director, explains, “It makes us really happy because we’ve had a long artistic and collegial relationship with Sacha; she’s our friend.” Reich agrees. “This residency is much more than a rental; Miracle is really saying, ‘Anchor yourselves here and come in.’ ” The two theater companies also share similar artistic goals. “For 30 years, our work has been dedicated to the Latino community; it’s culture specific,” says Sanchez. “Sacha’s work with the JTC is also culture specific. We share interesting inquiries: how do we serve our community and its stories but also realize we’re part of a much larger community? We’re a minority. How do we make


— JTC Artistic Director Sacha Reich.

Garrick Ohlsson

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The Left-Handed Herald is the name of this photo showing Neveh Shalom Rabbi Daniel Isaak blows a shofar heralding the High Holy Days. The photo name reflects the fact that as a left-hander, he wraps his teffilin on the non-standard side. Photo by Carol Isaak



The shofar sounds early this year

No, you are not imagining it. The shofar will be calling Jews to New Year services earlier this year. The earliest the first day of Rosh Hashanah can fall is Sept. 5. It happened in 1899 and again this year. Since days begin at sundown of the previous day, Erev Rosh Hashanah services are Wednesday evening, Sept. 4. The Hebrew year 5774 begins on Rosh Hashanah. Whether it’s the haunting tones of the shofar that stir Jews’ souls or some other phenomenon, synagogues are traditionally flooded with worshippers during the Days of Awe. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services are so full that most congregations require tickets to ensure regular attendees can find a seat in the congregation they support all year long. To lower the barriers that might keep people away, many synagogues offer free or low-cost admission to students and those on fixed incomes, but most require reservations ahead of time. In Portland, Havurah Shalom has rented a space large enough to welcome the community to free High Holiday services fpr many years. This year the Reconstructionist congregation returns to the Tiffany Center, where they often host more than 1,000 worshippers.

[inside] Holiday arrivals in Bend .............................. 37 Portlanders ring in sweet New Year .......... 40 For kids, Sukkot means backyard fort ...... 44 Eugene Sukkah crawl................................. 47 Honey anyone? ............................................ 48 Holidays help us appreciate time............... 50 Salem to welcome holidays with part-time rabbi................................. 51 Advice for the holidays................................. 52

We have invited congregations to post their holiday services on the website. So if you are looking for somewhere to worship this year, please visit or visit your own congregation’s website. And don’t worry, by Passover, holiday dates will be more in sync with the secular calendar. To keep the lunar-based Jewish year in sync with the solar year (the 12 lunar months’ 354 days are just over 11 days short of the 365.25 day solar cycle), the Jewish calendar adds a leap month seven times in a 19-year cycle. Since the Hebrew year of 5774 is a Jewish “leap year,” Adar I is inserted before the month of Adar (termed “Adar II” in leap years).

Special Section | High Holidays


Temple Beth Tikvah to unveil unique work of Judaic art Ralph Uri and Rabbi Johanna Hershenson show off Temple Beth Tikvah’s new ark. When complete, the ark will be finished with a clear, matt sealer that will bring out the natural deep rich brown color of the Black Walnut front panel and cabinet sides and the ceramic Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) created by Ceci Capen will be mounted above the doors. Photos by Lester Dober

By Polina Olsen Founded in Bend five years ago, Temple Beth Tikvah has grown in quantity and spirit. The synagogue started with 40 member families and now has almost 70. They’ve affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism, provided social, cultural and educational opportunities for their close-knit community and look forward to working with Johanna Hershenson, their first resident rabbi (see story next page). And, thanks to a few members’ vision and contributions from the congregation, they are creating a stunning new addition to Oregon’s Judaic treasures. “My friend of 50 years, Ted Rosen, is the trustee of an estate with many Jewish artifacts,” says Gerald Greenbach, who was among the temple’s founding members. “He lent us a magnificent Torah from the old country. We were sitting in a coffee shop one day and thought, ‘We need a beautiful ark for our Torah.’ ” After consulting with the synagogue board, Gerald searched online, but the examples he found left him cold. Instead, he asked architect and fellow congregant, Lawrence

Schechter, to design a Torah ark just for the temple. “I grew up in San Francisco where there were some beautiful arks,” Gerald says. “This will not take a back seat to anything in this land. Every member of the congregation will be proud.” Lawrence Schechter understood that a stock design wouldn’t work. “I realized we needed something that reflected the culture of our own community,” he says. “I meditated and the symbols became clear.” His design and fabrication document explains: “The overall shape of the ark follows the natural form of the 80-year-old Black Walnut tree that was sustainably harvested … The design incorporates straight lines that spring from a braided border as a stylized Tree of Life. The lines merge and spread upward to form the outer upper arms of the Star of David and become branches that sprout leaves of light, lit from within the ark. Two additional branches imply the nine flames of the Hanukkah menorah.” Lawrence’s wife, Lorraine, directs a committee that is creating banners to position behind the ark so the congregation isn’t distracted by the stained glass windows in the United Methodist Church in Bend where they rent space. Ceci Capen, a talented local potter, designed and donated a Ner Tamid, the eternal light that hangs above the ark. “I made seven different pieces,” she says. “It was trial and error. I wanted it to be perfect.” As of this writing, two local cabinet shops are completing the project. Rabbi Hershenson was set to dedicate the Torah ark during her first Friday Shabbat service at Temple Beth Tikvah on July 26, 2013. “It is gorgeous, and the design is both simple and profound,” Rabbi Hershenson says. “It has the designer’s interpretation of the Tree of Life, which becomes almost hands holding the Star of David. The lines symbolize this kabbalistic notion of the need for balance. Wherever people gather, they come with different experiences, and they intersect and build a community. The Tree of Life reaching up represents that.” OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 37

Rabbi Johanna Hershenson with Jake Olander. Photo courtesy of Lester Dober

Temple Beth Tikvah welcomes Rabbi Johanna Hershenson When Rabbi Johanna Hershenson saw an opening at Temple Beth Tikvah in Bend, she knew she was ready for her next adventure. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Maryland, her 18-year rabbinic career has taken her to Los Angeles, Alaska, New Zealand and even the Czech Republic. She arrived June 19 with her husband, two teenage daughters and a well-traveled Australian shepherd, and looks forward to working as the young congregation’s first resident rabbi.




“I’ve been fortunate,” she says. “I’ve been in interesting and exciting places. In New Zealand, I did an adult learning project that led to partnering with my husband to make a documentary film called ‘A Torah Tale.’ We traced the journeys of a Torah scroll and the last living Jew from a rural Czech town. It’s been quite an adventure. I led services and did a lot of teaching in Prague.” She has applied to the Bend Film Festival, hopes to work with the Portland Jewish Film Festival and enjoys leading lectures and informal discussions about her research.



from our families to yours

“Temple Beth Tikvah is thrilled and excited to have a new rabbi with the experience, knowledge, leadership and warm personality of Rabbi Johanna Hershenson moving to Bend to be part of our congregation and community,” says Beth Tikvah President Mark Schindel. Of her move to Bend to serve the Central Oregon community, the rabbi says, “I have had the joy of working globally; now I look forward to living and teaching within a single community. I want to get acquainted with each and every member of our congregation. I like knowing people well enough to call on them to share their talents and skills to enrich the community at large. On a personal level, my family loves the outdoors and we are excited to live, work and play in this beautiful area.”


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She earned her BA from University of Wisconsin, Madison, with distinctions in history, Hebrew and Semitic languages, and History of Culture. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1995, where she received a master’s degree in Hebrew letters. “I’ve had a fair amount of experience in congregational life, and to be part of an organization at the beginning and work with the people who have started it is a special treat and exciting,” she says. “How often do you get to start from the beginning?”

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Special Section | High Holidays

Portlanders Ring in a Sweet New Year

R By Polina Olsen

Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, brings a time to reflect and connect. Filled with self-examination and repentance for past transgressions, it remains a holiday filled with hope for a sweet new year. Each family brings age-old traditions into their home in their own unique way. We asked several Portlanders to share how they celebrate the New Year:

Rob, Carlie and Joshua Hershinow. Photo courtesy Rob Hershinow

Rob Hershinow is a board member at Congregation Beit Haverim. “Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to remember our spiritual compass, the significance of Jewish practice and Judaism in our ongoing lives,” he says. “Life changes and unfolds throughout the year with new people and new experiences. Values are tested. Rosh Hashanah is something familiar. The connectedness with my family, friends and the Jewish people comes full circle and, year after year, becomes increasingly important.” Rob grew up in the Chicago area and moved to Oregon at age 23. “I’ve been making the holiday on my own since,” he says. “Some years it was nothing; some years it’s Mom’s recipes – brisket, fish, kugel, soup. Although I haven’t yet mastered the recipe, a Jewish holiday is not a Jewish holiday without Bubbe’s mandel bread (see page 42). She made it with chocolate chips for the kids and nuts for the grownups, but everyone ate the chocolate chips.” Like many people from cities with large Jewish populations, Rob finds rewards and challenges in Portland. “Growing up in Chicago made celebrating High Holidays easy,” he says. “Anywhere from 40 to 60% of my childhood friends were Jewish. My children grew up knowing one or two Jewish children outside of the Beit Haverim community. Here, the holiday doesn’t occur unless we make the holiday. A greater personal effort is necessary, and I find greater significance in participating.” 40 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Steve Bilow belongs to congregations Beit Haverim and Beth Israel. “I love the whole period of preparing for the High Holidays,” he says. “Selichot is the service before High Holidays and the start of the period of repentance. It’s a cool experience, an advance warning that you still have time to make yourself better. You mend relationships and become aware of the things you could have done better. The whole notion of Rosh Hashanah as the birthday of the world reminds you that the world is something to nurture.”

(from left) Michelle, Audrey, David, Levi and Abigail Minch. Photo by Campbell Salgado Studio

Michelle and Dave Minch attend Congregation Beit Haverim, where she is on the board. “The High Holidays are a good time to get to know Beit Haverim,” Michelle says. “It’s a soul-searching time and brings a sense of community. Our cantor, Ann Brown, is amazing. She plays the guitar and helps you savor the holidays. And several people at the congregation are skilled at blowing the shofar – until they’re kind of blue in the face.”

Her husband Dave agrees. “Throughout the year everyone has different things going on,” he says. “But at the High Holidays everyone is here to celebrate, recant the last year and start anew. After services on Rosh Hashanah, everyone from the congregation goes down to the river in Lake Oswego for tashlich (casting sins into the water). We break off bread and toss it into the river, or, since bread isn’t good for the environment, we can also use rocks.” The couple has become matzo ball soup aficionados, the staple for every Shabbat and holiday. “The kids protest if we skip it,” Dave says. “We are vegetarians so the big thing is OSEM vegetable broth. We’ve tried several recipes and find Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix works best. We might cook up a challah, and we try to do traditional Jewish foods like apples and honey.”

Vicki Stone with her grandmother’s favorite fleishic spoon. Photo courtesy of Vicki Stone

Vicki Stone and her husband Jim attend services at Chabad. “We have been Ba’al Tshuva (returnees to Orthodox Judaism) for 25 years,” Vicki says. “We moved to this house so we’d be near the synagogue. “Rosh Hashanah is a typical holiday. It’s praying and eating, praying and eating. Jim and I are traditional in our gender roles. He goes to synagogue, and I make sure there is a lovely meal.” The Stones have adapted traditional foods to their family’s special needs. “You’re supposed to have the head of an animal, but I don’t know anyone who grew up with a sheep’s head,” Vicki says. “I grew up using smoked fish with the head on, but my daughter doesn’t like smoked fish. When she was 9, she cut a fish out of paper and stuffed it with Kleenex (so that it was three-dimensional), and we’ve used that since. We have apples and honey to symbolize the sweetness of the New Year and round challah stuffed with raisins. It looks like a turban.” Rebecca Berzow and her husband Tuvia belong to Kesser Israel, where he serves as congregation president. “My husband and I became more observant later in life, so the Artscroll Transliterated Linear Machzor is very helpful,” Rebecca says, referring to a popular version of the traditional High Holiday prayerbook. “There are explanations and essays on what repentance means. The High Holidays are a time to do inner work on OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 41

You Are Cordially Invited To Join Us As We Welcome In The Sweet New Year 5774

Bubbe’s Mandel Bread Courtesy Rob Hershinow with permission from Bubbe.

Rebecca and Tuvia Berzow with their sons Yehuda and Avi. Sears Portrait Studio photo Erev Rosh Hashanah Wednesday, Sept. 4 7:00pm Rosh Hashanah Day One Thursday, Sept. 5 9:30am - 2:00pm Children’s Service 10:00am Tashlich* Thursday, Sept. 5 2:30pm - 3:30pm Rosh Hashanah Day Two Friday, Sept. 6 9:30am - 2:00pm Yom Kippur Evening/Kol Nidre Friday, Sept. 13 7:00pm Yom Kippur Saturday, Sept. 14 9:30am until sundown, with a break in the late afternoon

Children’s Service 10:00am All are welcome. Sliding scale donation. No ticket required. Childcare available with prior reservation by August 28th.

Rabbi Debra Kolodny will be leading services

For further information,

visit or call 503-248-4500. All services at Unity Church 4525 SE Stark *Tashlich: Laurelhurst Park


ourselves. We contact family and friends to ask for forgiveness for anything we did to offend them.” The family’s Erev Rosh Hashanah meal includes traditional food omens detailed in the machzor. “You say a little prayer and then eat the food,” Rebecca says. “It’s cute and fun for the kids. For example, for apples and honey, you say ‘Have a good and sweet year,’ and for fish, ‘Be fruitful and multiply like fish.’ Outside of that, Rosh Hashanah dinner is a lot like Shabbat dinner – challah, salad, wine, meat and dessert. I ask the kids, what can we learn this year? What can we do better? We always try to improve ourselves and be better people in the world.”

Ingredients 1½ sticks margarine 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup ground walnuts (or chocolate chips) 2½ cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder (added to flour) Cinnamon and sugar mixture Directions Soften margarine and mix well with sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and nuts – mix well until creamy. Add flour/baking powder and mix all together. Put into fridge for several hours or overnight so it will be easy to handle. Grease cookie sheet. Make three long, narrow rolls, each about 2-3” wide (roll in your hands and stretch out on cookie sheet). Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until brown. Slice one-inch pieces while warm (at an angle) – turn pieces on side and sprinkle with more cinnamon/sugar. Toast for an additional 10 minutes being careful to watch so it doesn’t burn. The mandel bread will harden as it cools.

Special High Holiday Events for Singles/Young Adults Singles will find the welcome mat out during the High Holidays this year. Meal Swap, a program started by Jodi Berris and now run by Portland Kollel, specializes in making connections. “We find people who are interested in a holiday meal and a family that is interested in hosting,” Rabbi Tzvi Fischer explains. “We try to find the best fit regarding the level of kosher, level of observance and diet. “Most asking to be hosted are young, but anyone is welcome,” Fischer continues. “Many people have been matched. For example, one young woman who had recently returned from a Birthright Israel trip called. Her mother was Jewish, but her Christian father had raised her, and she’d never been in a sukkah. We matched her with a family, and she had a wonderful Sukkot.” For more information on Meal Swap, email info@ Meanwhile, good news! Portland Moishe House, the grassroots community center for young adults that almost closed due to funding issues, reports they are up and running thanks to the generous support of Liz Menashe, Jim Meyer and the local community. They are planning a September field trip to visit beekeepers outside Portland. Join them to learn about honey, beekeeping and how this relates to Rosh Hashanah by visiting facebook. com/moishehouseportland or emailing In addition, Jews Next Door (, jndpdx@ will host several High Holiday programs for young adults. Here’s the tentative schedule: Sept. 5, 5:30 pm: Tashlich and Happy Hour. Location TBD. Sept. 9, 1 to 4 pm: Yom Kippur Lounge at Beth Israel. Sept. 9, after Neilah service: Break Fast at the Asa Lounge (joint event with Moishe House). Sept. 25, 6 to 8 pm: Event in the Sukkah. Details TBD.

Special Section | High Holidays

Children at Neveh Shalom’s Foundation School enjoy eating in the sukkah.

For kids, Sukkot is a fun week in a backyard fort By Rich Geller The Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or as The Daily Show host John Stewart calls it, “The Hebrew word meaning how many holidays can the Jews fit into one month?” follows so quickly on the heels of the 10 Days of Awe from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur that it seldom gets the love it deserves. This is truly a shande, for as I discovered last year when my friend and I built a sukkah in my backyard, Sukkot is hands down the most family-friendly week in the Jewish holiday oeuvre. Think about it from a kid’s perspective. You basically get to build a giant fort in the backyard that you get to live in for a whole week! What could be better? My family had helped to build the sukkah at Congregation Beth Israel with the CBI Brotherhood in years past, but this was our family’s first backyard sukkah. Our kids were so enthralled with the whole concept of the sukkah that rain or shine they insisted on eating every single meal, drink and afterschool snack under its leafy canopy. They even did their homework in the sukkah! We only managed to sleep one night in our cozy little booth under the stars, but huddled together against the night chill in our sleeping bags, we shared a peace and serenity that is a rare gift indeed in a family with three very energetic young children. Building the sukkah itself was surprisingly easy. I found a simple and inexpensive design on the website The 44 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

lumber cost only about $30. With a little help from our kids, we were able to assemble our booth in one day. I used tarps tied to the frame with ropes for the requisite three walls. The s’khakh (roof covering) was easy enough to find. Our neighbor was having some trees removed from his lawn and was only too happy to let us take some of the branches off his hands. Then came the fun part … decorating it! After schlepping an outdoor table and some chairs into our booth, we hung construction paper loops the kids had made in religious school and strung up some gourds. The kids strategically placed pumpkins in each corner of the sukkah. Then we let them go crazy with the paper, markers, glitter and glue. By the time we were finished, we had an impressive little structure, resplendent with kid-produced art adorning the walls. My son Leo even made a paper-and-stick Torah decorated with adhesive-backed Hebrew letters. You can ask your synagogue or Portland’s Everything Jewish for the four species necessary for Sukkot observance: the etrog and lulav, along with the myrtle and willow branches. Our kids really enjoyed the ritual aspects of Sukkot. Each had the opportunity to perform the mitzvah of waving the four species. Explain to your children that we build the sukkah to remember the fragile dwellings our ancestors slept in for 40 years as they wandered the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

Sukkot is the perfect time to teach kids about the night sky. Because Sukkot is so early this year (Sept. 18-25), many of the summer constellations are still visible. In September the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen reigns over the northeast horizon. Shaped like a W, she is easy to spot. High overhead in the Milky Way looms the Summer Triangle, an asterism (pattern of stars) comprising prominent stars from three constellations: Deneb from Cygnus the swan, Vega in Lyre the harp and Altair in Aquilla the Eagle. Jupiter rises in the eastern sky shortly after sunset. Even low-powered binoculars will reveal Jupiter’s four Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. Saturn hangs low in the west-southwest. You will need a telescope to view the planet’s rings. The crisp, cool nights of fall typically make for excellent “seeing” conditions. You can find basic star charts at your local bookstore, the OMSI Science store or online at As your children gaze at the stars through the gaps in the sukkah’s roof, they may share the same sense of wonder ancient Israelites no doubt felt as they looked up at the desert sky all those years ago. Be sure to invite your friends over for dinner or Shabbat in the sukkah, especially your children’s friends. My kids were very excited to share the sukkah with their friends. Don’t forget to fire up the grill. There’s no doubt that barbecue just tastes better in the sukkah. Sukkot is a harvest holiday too, and a great time to enjoy the bounty of the Pacific Northwest’s delicious seasonal foods. Put out apples and pears from the Columbia River Gorge.

Congregation Beth israel wishes you and your family a good and sweet

new year 5774.

miChael Z. Cahana, senior raBBi ida rae Cahana, senior Cantor raChel l. Joseph, assistant raBBi emanuel rose, d.h.l., d.d., raBBi emeritus Judith B. sChiff, Cantor emerita

1972 nw flanders street | Portland, Oregon 97209 503-222-1069 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 45

Beit Haverim invites you to join us for the High Holy Days 5774. Community Services led by Rabbi Alan Berg and Cantorial Soloist Ann Brown. Rosh Hashanah Erev Rosh Hashanah* Wednesday, Sept. 4 7:00 PM Family Service Thursday, Sept. 5 9:00 AM Main Service* 10:00 AM Tashlich George Rogers Park, 611 S. State St., Lake Oswego 1:30 PM


Yom Kippur Kol Nidre* Friday, Sept. 13 7:00 PM Family Service Saturday, Sept. 14 9:00 AM Main Service* 10:00 AM Adult Study Session 2:00 PM Afternoon Service 3:00 PM Yizkor, Neilah 4:30 PM Potluck break fast to follow at approximately 6:00 PM

*Childcare Available Kids are sure to want to get into the act when you build a sukkah in your backyard.

Continue to join us for the holidays…

Sukkot Celebration/Shabbat Service FRIDAY, SEPT. 27 7:00 PM Simchat Torah/Shabbat Service Followed by a Special Dessert Oneg to Welcome Guests FRIDAY, SEPT. 20 7:00 PM

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Wash it down with an ice-cold glass of Ryan’s organic and certified kosher apple cider direct from Hood River. Shabbat is particularly fun in the sukkah. You’ll definitely need some Neronim candles to compensate for the wind. Last year after blessings and dinner, we busted out the djembes, our kid’s bucket of instruments (mostly percussion) and a shofar and proceeded to rock the night away! You can hit up your local library or independent bookstore for some Sukkot-themed books to read by flashlight at bedtime in your sukkah. One of our kid’s favorite Sukkot books is Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast by Jamie S. Korngold. It is the sweetest Sukkot story about a brother and sister who fill their sukkah with stuffed animals and make breakfast for them. Another fun read is Sammy Spider’s First Sukkot by Sylvia A. Rouss. If you live in an apartment and cannot build an outdoor structure, you can always build a tabletop sukkah. You can make one out of construction paper and Popsicle sticks. Throw in some dollhouse furniture and twigs, leaves and fruit for s’khakh. has a kid-friendly craft project featuring an edible graham cracker sukkah! Just take three graham crackers for the walls and use peanut butter or marshmallow fluff as mortar. Throw some pretzel or carrot sticks on top for your s’khakh and bam – you’ve got yourself one delicious sukkah! However you choose to celebrate Sukkot, be sure to take the time to appreciate the natural beauty that is all around us and try to imagine what it must have been like for our wandering forebears, who did not have warm, dry homes to sleep in, as they slowly but inexorably made their way home to the promised land. Portland freelance writer Rich Geller enjoys sharing the richness of Jewish traditions with his three children.

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Eugene Sukkah Crawl


By Joseph Lieberman


When Shmuel Shalom Cohen moved to Eugene in 2010, he easily located synagogues to pray in, but found it wasn’t quite as simple for him to track down adult classes on Judaism, social gatherings for all nature of Jewish people or even kosher bread for Shabbat. After months of searching, he discovered where to buy kosher food, Havdallah candles and even a class or two. “I also realized,” says Shmuel, “that if I was having difficulties, then other Jews who move here, or are considering to move here, will have the same problem.” This realization, along with the discovery that there were few places to meet other Jews outside of synagogue, led Shmuel to inaugurate (and later to become executive director of) Jewish Events Willamette-valley (JEW). JEW’s mission is to build Jewish community, pride and learning, which it does by putting on events and operating a website ( that lists everything Jewish in the valley – from shuls to Jewish organizations on campus, from where to buy Judaica and kosher food to where the next Jewish gathering will be. Other links show where you can research your family’s genealogy and how to volunteer for groups that visit the sick. To fill the Jewish social gap, JEW also puts on events: the recently begun Eugene Jewish Film Festival, wine tastings and events around the Jewish holidays. This Sukkot, JEW has organized its third Sukkah Crawl. From Shmuel’s viewpoint, “If you say High Holy Days, everybody thinks about long boring days standing and sitting in shul, with fasting and tshuvah. It’s a lot of work. What they miss is the celebration after doing the work. This is Sukkot.” The Sukkah Crawl, similar to one in Portland, is modeled on other local Eugene events like the Whitaker garden tour. Each day/ evening a different home or Jewish organization holds an open house doing whatever they feel is appropriate to the spirit of the holiday.

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“We’ve had movies, bonfires, BBQs, ‘Soup in the Sukkah’ and an evening with an Israeli consulate,” Shmuel says proudly. “Along with individuals, the shuls and the UO Hillel have joined the crawl. It’s a great way for Jews to check them out in a strictly social, stress-free situation.” The Sukkah Crawl begins on Sept. 18 at sunset, meeting at 2531 Chula Vista Ave., Eugene 97403. Check website or call 541-514-2571 for more information.

Contact: Wendy Kahn OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 47

Special Section | High Holidays


How do you use honey for a sweet new year?

Jennifer Greenberg & Carlos the dog Program Director, Congregation Neveh Shalom   “We actually keep a beehive in our backyard. This year we will harvest some honey and enjoy it, comb and all. We will reflect on all the hard work we watched the bees do, and will be thankful for their role in pollinating our vegetable garden, berries and fruit trees! What is sweeter than that?”

Emily Regenstrief Jewish Enrichment Specialist, MJCC Day Camp “I make lots of honey cake and honey tea with my dad, and eat it Winnie the Pooh style right out of the jar!”

Cyrise Beatty Schachter Musical Director, Havurah Shir Hadash Ashland

“We like to think of the honey as a collection of the sweetness of the flowers of Spring and Summertime. When we dip our apples and bake our honey cake, we are taking a bit of the warm season into our bodies to nourish us and sweeten our Autumn and Wintertime.”

Shaarie Torah Has a Seat for You Join Portland’s Conservative Jewish Home for the High Holy Days Traditional Service in the Sanctuary Community/Family Service in the Social Hall Free Tickets Available for Unaffiliated Jews Call Our Office Today to Learn More

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Aaron Douglas Marketing Director, HFO Investment Real Estate “I love honey on my peanut butter sandwiches and pancakes! I also love honey on matzos in the springtime for Passover.”

David H. Fuks CEO, Cedar Sinai Park “My mom used to put a little honey on new books she would give me to make learning sweet.”

Amy Stern (speaking about her daughter Ruby Stern) Logistics Manager, Thinc Actionwear “Once Ruby knows it’s Rosh Hashanah, it becomes her excuse to ask for honey on EVERYTHING: apples, pancakes, toast, straight out of the dish on little fingers ... so, the answer is pretty much ‘in any way we can!’ ”

Wishing Our Neighbors a Happy & Healthy Rosh Hashanah!

From Kosher wine to traditional holiday items, we have everything you need to celebrate the New Year.

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To Life If only I could stop the clock right now

By Amy Hirshberg Lederman This week I got a phone call from my daughter in San Francisco, the very same daughter who, six months ago, was struggling to figure out what to do postcollege with a degree in anthropology. She is interning at a nonprofit agency by day and waitressing at night, having the time of her life as she figures it all out. Next came an email from my son, who, after spending several years trying to make it in the Big Apple, went to grad school and is now working for the Associated Press, reporting from, of all places, the White House! As if that weren’t enough, I watch my husband pack his bags for our hiking trip through Glacier National Park in celebration of our 30th anniversary. Was it just a year ago that he packed the same suitcase as we headed for a consult at MD Anderson for cancer that is currently in remission? Looking at life, being aware of how precious and precarious it all is, makes me more fully understand what my dad used to say when I was a little girl. “If I could only stop the clock right now…” he would muse, leaving the rest of the sentence unfinished. Stopping the clock – an image that suggests an appreciation for those rare moments in time when everything is going well – is not possible. But what is possible is to be mindful of and grateful for the time we have, and to use these precious hours and days to create a life of meaningful choices and relationships. When we are young, we feel that we have “all the time in the world.” This sense of unlimited time is a reflection of our youth, good health and energy, often based on the idea that limitless possibilities and experiences lie ahead. As we age and our responsibilities increase, from work, family and other

commitments, time takes on new meaning. Time can even become our enemy, as we fight to steal a few minutes or hours from one activity to create time for another. Juggling our calendars, multi-tasking through the day and feeling pressed for time are common feelings as we try to balance raising our families, work and time for the people and things we love. And in our “golden” years, when energy and health often elude us, we take stock of time in a totally different way. We slow down, mentally and physically, and look at what is most meaningful at this point in life, knowing that we have a limited amount of time left to enjoy and experience what we value most. Jewish tradition has much to teach us about time because it acknowledges two types of time: historical and cyclical. Historical time (i.e., chronological time) lets us take stock of our lives, evaluate our choices and determine how we want to live and what we want to change. It provides a sense of optimism because we can use our time to enrich ourselves and become who we want to be. The Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgies are replete with prayers and expressions that confirm this way of viewing time. Cyclical time, as expressed through our Jewish calendar and life-cycle events, helps us appreciate the recurring patterns of the seasons and the year, of natural life-cycle events that are inevitable. It is best expressed in the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, which states: “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” I measure my own good fortune by the awareness of how blessed I am that things are good – right now. I know there will be times ahead when I will face personal challenges, struggle with family and health issues, and be confronted by problems for which I have no answer. But of one thing I can be sure: that as time passes, as the days and months flow into years, things will and must change. For today, I am determined to “stop” my clock and offer a prayer of gratitude.

Amy Hirshberg Lederman is an author, Jewish educator, public speaker and attorney. Her columns have won awards from the American Jewish Press Association, The Arizona Newspapers Association and the Arizona Press Club for excellence in commentary. Visit her website at 50 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Part-time rabbi welcomed at Temple Beth Sholom Rabbi Daniel Aronson has joined Temple Beth Sholom of Salem as a part-time rabbi. In addition to leading High Holy Day services in September, Rabbi Aronson will visit TBS once a month from October through May. Paula Boga, president of the TBS Board of Trustees, is confident that Rabbi Aronson will provide the congregation Rabbi Daniel Aronson with the rabbinical leadership and guidance that it has been looking for: “I am so happy that Rabbi Aronson has agreed join our community for the next year, and I believe that his easy going style and good humor make him a perfect fit for our diverse community.” Rabbi Aronson says that as a part-time rabbi, he won’t be involved in governance issues, which many full-time, resident rabbis spend time on. He adds there are advantages a rabbi who comes once a month for a weekend full of activities while his family remains in Texas: “When I’m there it will be more of an intense experience. They will have my full, undivided attention. I want to make good use of every moment in Salem.” Rabbi Aronson has served the American Jewish community for more than 25 years as an educator, administrator and rabbi. Among the positions he has held have been assistant director of the Brown-RISD Hillel Foundation, dean of admissions and recruitment and then director of annual giving and special events at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and most recently, director of congregational learning at Ohev Shalom of Bucks County outside Philadelphia. Rabbi Aronson also has served congregations as an interim rabbi, taught children and adults, and done additional work tutoring, officiating at life cycle events, and providing pastoral care. Currently, in addition to being the interim spiritual leader for Temple Beth Sholom in Salem, Rabbi Aronson also directs the religious school at Congregation Or Ami, in Houston, TX. Rabbi Aronson, lives in Houston, TX, with his wife Beth, a psychologist, their daughter Katie, an energetic 5-year old, and their four cats. The rabbi’s son Jacob is a student at the University of Maryland and is completing his second year as a counselor for Camp Ramah’s Outdoor Adventure in Colorado. He notes, “I am inspired by Jewish wisdom and strive to impart this wisdom to all who would learn. In particular, it is a joy to help each person develop his or her own unique relationship with Judaism, to discover within Judaism meaning and relevance.” He adds, “I look forward to my work with Temple Beth Sholom, getting to know the members and friends of the community, and developing a close and fruitful relationship with all who come to visit.” OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 51

Special Section | High Holidays


High Holidays a doorway back to faith, friendship

Dear Helen: It’s the High Holidays again and I feel unsure what to do. I’ve been a secular Jew for decades. I grew up Conservative, became a bar mitzvah in a Reform temple and was married by a rabbi. We sometimes go to a seder or High Holiday services. We don’t have children, so didn’t face the issue of religious education. (My wife is agnostic but would not have objected.) Every year at Rosh Hashanah I want more connection with my late parents’ faith to help me cope in this meshugginah world. But then it fades. — Outsider

Happy New Year

Dear Outsider: Judaism’s door is always open. You need only walk through it with your heart, your head and your feet. Simply go to a synagogue. The High Holidays are a traditional time of in-migration for lapsed attendants. Most synagogues charge for tickets to High Holiday services, to subsidize ongoing overhead or for rented space to accommodate extra guests. You might also find a service at a local university Hillel. Another simple action is to start keeping the Sabbath. This can be as simple as lighting candles and saying a prayer for peace. Learn the blessings or say a silent prayer. Either will begin the connection with faith, as long as it comes from your heart. To be written into the Book of Life is also to be part of what you call “this meshugginah world.” But if we each try to make it less crazy, and less fierce, perhaps it will someday become a less meshugginah place. I hope you can find the High Holiday spirit and bring it into your life, whether you go to shul or just remember what day it is. You’ll find yourself becoming more Jewish, and you’ll integrate that spirit and identity naturally. Your late parents will be praying with and over you.


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Dear Bruised: It’s amazing how much heavier an angry or hurt heart is to carry around than a forgiving one. You haven’t given any details of the experience, but clearly it was very painful. Answer this: Is whatever happened worth losing your friends? Either way you answer, you’ll need to find a way to move past both the details and the feelings, or you’ll be carrying around something heavy that no diet will ever cure. One of the purposes of Yom Kippur is to lighten us. You can use this opportunity to cleanse, to express yourself and to open the door to your friends to do the same. I suspect that they have difficult feelings also, though the two of them may feel the selfrighteousness of camaraderie. I suggest three steps. First, go to synagogue, listen to a broadcast service or just meditate. Take in the idea of atonement and forgiveness. Then write your friends a letter, separately

A Wish from Your Jewish Fairy Godmother: May you be written into the Book of Life for a year of peace, health and wisdom. And may you share that with the world. or together. Instead of the details of the situation, talk about the importance of your friendship and how you hope mutual forgiveness will allow the three of you to move forward. Third, suggest a meal together, in a few weeks, to clear the air and begin again. Pray that their hearts are as open as yours, and that they miss you too. Even if a profound reconciliation does not occur, you will feel lighter and better. A resident of Eugene since 1981, Helen is a member of Temple Beth Israel, where she studies and speaks on Torah. She claims to have black belts in schmoozing, problemsolving, and chutzpah. She’s a writer and an artist ( Please email your questions to helen@yourjewishfairygodmother. com and check out the blog at

Photo: Sol Neelman

Dear Helen: On Yom Kippur I know we are supposed to ask for atonement for our sins. My problem is less my sins than the anger and sadness I feel. There are two (former) friends who have hurt me, emotionally and financially. I miss their friendship, but it is very hard to imagine forgiving them. I am carrying a lot of heaviness in my heart because of what they did. I do not trust them, but I also feel like I am missing something very important to me. What should I do? —Bruised

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Special Section | High Holidays

CHEF’S CORNER Advance preparation makes for a satisfying break the fast

Poached salmon with green apple, radish and fennel slaw 2 whole salmon fillets 2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 cups dry white wine 4 cups water 2 lemons, sliced ½ small sweet onion, sliced 2 tablespoons favorite seasoning blend such as Old Bay Fill a fish poacher or another pan large enough to hold the salmon with enough water to cover the fish completely. Add about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Bring water to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer. The water should be bubbling, but just barely. Place fish in simmering water and poach for 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. Remove fish to a glass baking dish. Meanwhile in another pan bring white wine, 4 cups water, lemon, onion and seasoning to a boil. Allow mixture to gently boil for about ten minutes. Pour hot liquid over fish and allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap and placing in refrigerator. Allow fish to chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving. When ready to serve, gently lift fish from poaching liquid and allow to come to room temperature. Serve on a platter with fennel and apple slaw alongside.


By Lisa Glickman The long days of summer are winding down and the fall season is upon us. The sun sets earlier and the kids are back in school. This year Sept. 4 through 14 marks the Days of Awe – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Food plays an important role in celebrating Jewish holidays. Rosh Hashanah is a time to eat apples and honey symbolizing hopes for a fruitful and sweet new year. On Yom Kippur, fasting is required from sun down to sun down. Families “break the fast” with a lighter meal usually prepared in advance. This typically includes dairy products because they are easier to digest after a long and difficult fast. Bagels and cream cheese, noodle kugel, blintzes and coffee cakes are often served at the break the fast. Smoked fish, tuna and herring can also be included as part of this traditionally dairy meal. This delicious poached salmon recipe can easily be made a day in advance and be waiting in the refrigerator for you serve as the center of your break-the-fast meal. As an accompaniment, julienned apples, thinly sliced fennel and spicy radishes make a sweet and colorful slaw to serve alongside. Round out your meal with a creamy savory noodle kugel or bagels and cream cheese. For dessert try purchased coffee cakes or fresh fruit, or try making monkey bread (see next page). For the slaw 3 Granny Smith apples, julienned on a mandolin 2 large bulbs fennel, core removed and thinly sliced (save a few fennel fronds for garnish) 2 green onions, thinly sliced 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced ¹/³ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon celery seed Salt and pepper to taste Place mayonnaise, buttermilk, honey, vinegar, mustard and celery seed in small bowl and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place apple, fennel, radishes and green onions in a bowl. Toss with dressing until evenly coated. Garnish fish with reserved fennel fronds.

Lisa Glickman is a private chef and teacher who lives in Bend. She has recently made an appearance on the Cooking Channel’s “The Perfect Three.” She can be reached at

Break-the-fast monkey bread By Eileen Goltz It is always difficult to come up with new and interesting recipes for yontif meals, especially for break the fast when family and friends need to be fed NOW! This year make something absolutely delicious and perfect for grabbing and popping into your mouth just as soon as the 26 hours are up. Consider making monkey bread. Monkey bread (AKA bubble bread) is a truly American dish that first showed up in women’s magazines and cookbooks in the early 1950s. The bread is comprised of yeast dough rolled into balls (frozen bread dough is most often used) baked in a cake pan (bundt pan) after being coated in butter, cinnamon, sugar, chopped nuts and various other kinds of “stuff.” It’s typically a dairy dish and best eaten warm with everyone grabbing at it with their fingers sort of like monkeys grabbing coconuts, hence the name monkey bread. The following recipe can be tweaked to utilize whatever coating and toppings you prefer. Monkey bread can be made a day ahead and heated just before serving. RHODES BUTTERSCOTH BUBBLE BREAD (dairy) 24 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold ½ box butterscotch or vanilla pudding mix, non-instant ½ cup pecans, chopped ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup butter or margarine Grease a bundt pan very well. Place the pudding mix in a shallow bowl. Cut the rolls in half and then roll them in the dry pudding mix. Place half the rolls in the bottom of the greased bundt pan, alternately with pecans. Repeat with the remaining rolls and nuts. Sprinkle the remaining pudding mix over the top and set it aside. In a microwave bowl combine the brown sugar and butter. Microwave until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture evenly over the top of the coated rolls. Let the dough rise until double in size or the dough is even with the top of the pan. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cover the top with foil and then cook for another 15 minutes. Check to see if the top is golden. If not, cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes without the foil. Remove from the oven immediately after baking. Cool for 5 minutes, using a knife loosen the bread from the sides of the pan and invert the bread onto a serving plate. Serves 8 to 10 Modified from my files from a Rhodes recipe.



The Great Babka Bake-Off

Babka bakers and their families pose before the contest. From left Gabi Cohn, Evan Cohn, Elaine Mooso and Earl Mooso.

Photos and story by Polina Olsen Polish Jews call it babka; Russians call it baba. But by any name, the delicious yeasted cake was among our grandmothers’ favorites. So, when the Mittleman Jewish Community Center staff chose their home bake-off challenge, they deemed the sweet treat a perfect fit. They posted signs inviting bakers to compete and asked the public to judge. The word babka means old woman in Polish and Yiddish. “Babka, in its original form, was stout and round, just like grandmothers used to be before they went to aerobics classes and practiced yoga,” Arthur Schwartz, author of Jewish Home Cooking, said. Some believe its origins date to an ancient Ukrainian fertility symbol. Food writer Lesley Chamberlain says Queen Bona Sforza’s 16th century Polish court modified Italian panettone for local tastes. In A Taste of Russia, author Darra Goldstein credits the invention to Polish King Stanislaw Leszczynski. “An elaborate babka was eaten at Easter,” Goldstein said. “It could include rose oil, lemon zest, bitter almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, lemon, bergamot or rose water but the most basic one had the finest flour, yeast, milk, with a little sugar and lots of egg yolks.” Jews filled the cake with chocolate, cinnamon and sugar when they came to the United States. Many Americans first glimpsed babka during the unforgettable Seinfeld episode in which Elaine and Jerry


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The MJCC Babka Bake-Off attracted more tasters than bakers.

sadly settled for cinnamon when the bakery customer in line before them snagged the last precious chocolate. Still, babka making is unusual, and only two brave bakers showed up in the MJCC lobby on June 12, the big day. Earl Mooso drove in from Newberg with two entries, one from Love and Knishes by Sara Kasdan and a Martha Stewart lemon recipe. “I make apple pie, cookies and cakes,” Earl said, explaining this was his first baking contest. Although he didn’t grow up with babka, his wife Elaine made it long ago when they lived in the Mohave Desert. “We had three children and little money and tried different recipes,” she said. The other contestant, Portland Jewish Academy student, Gabi Cohn, arrived with her dad, Evan. “I grew up on Long Island, and the Smithtown Bakery had babka,” he said. “They used to sell it here, but I don’t see it anymore,” he added, waving to the corner Café at the J. “We should have a grassroots campaign to get it back – cinnamon and chocolate. We found our recipe in the Wall Street Journal a couple weeks ago.The timing was serendipitous. I believe there will be more tasters here than bakers.” The babkas looked beautiful laid out on the table next to place cards labeled A, B and C. “Want to taste some babka and vote?” MJCC Marketing Director Marissa Brown asked as a crowd gathered around. Everyone followed the rules, tasting


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each entry and voting for their favorite on orange pieces of paper. Ballots filled the large glass vase quickly. In the end, Gabi’s entry narrowly prevailed. “It must have been the chocolate,” Evan said. She and Earl were given MJCC T-shirts and hats as the staff cleared empty platters and took the balloons away. Expect a continuing series of MJCC Great Bake-Offs. Babka was the second. Eamon Molloy won the winter challahmaking contest as the best of 10. “It unifies us, especially if it invokes a memory,” Marissa said. “We remember grandparents and have a chance to taste different ways. We started with challah, and thought babka would be interesting since not everyone makes it. We’ve thought of matzo, chicken soup, mandelbrot for fall, haroset or hamantashen for spring. We could do things that aren’t Jewish, but why?”

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Arousing the Buy Curious A real estate book with local flare By Vanessa Van Edwards


Portland author Becki Saltzman is arousing both curiosity and excitement with her new real estate guide: Arousing the Buy Curious due out Sept. 3. Arousing the Buy Curious is an off-thewall real estate manual aimed at buyers, sellers and aspiring real estate professionals, or as Saltzman would say “real estate wantrepreneurs.” Filled with Saltzman’s “sexy mind science,” hilarious stories and unique advice, Arousing the Buy Curious is anything but average. And Saltzman is not your average real estate agent. Her approach has resonated with both homebuyers and sellers for more than 20 years. Yet, Saltzman learned her techniques long before her awardwinning real estate work. “I come from a family of Jewish auctioneers. When I was 6 years old, they would dress me as a little boy and sneak me into auction sites. This is where I learned about the art of selling, and that it is the same whether you are in real estate, business or in the garment industry,” says Saltzman. 58 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

In fact, the principles she uses today are the same ones her grandfather used to sell industrial equipment. “I thought it was amazing that I could use the same principles I learned when I was 6 years old.” These ideas were only compounded when she studied mathematical models of behavior prediction while receiving her master’s degree in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. Saltzman’s psychology research also taught her that humor and provocation are the superglue for remembering the best persuasive techniques. “I knew that if I wanted to teach my grandfather’s selling techniques, I would need to use humor and provocation to get the method across. And that’s where my approach for Arousing the Buy Curious came from,” explains Saltzman. Saltzman set out to create a book that would be both provocative and humorous – and that might be an understatement. Arousing the Buy Curious is sprinkled with sexual innuendos and X-rated language. Yet, the naughty bits don’t detract from the helpful advice. Saltzman’s primary mission is to educate her readers. “In some ways I feel like in order to be a good salesperson, you have to have a Yiddish accent. But if you don’t have that, you can still learn the science of real estate,” encourages Saltzman. She hopes the principles espoused in her book will save readers from making costly mistakes. Saltzman explains, “Buyers and sellers are both making mistakes costing them tens of thousands of dollars. I’m going to teach you how to avoid these mistakes. So, I promise I will at least double your $18.95 investment in the book.” One of Saltzman’s tips for buyers is to do research ahead of time by looking at what she calls “real estate porn,” or online real estate resources. She also teaches buyers how to find a superior agent. “Clients ask good questions, but not great questions. I want to arm clients with great

questions, so when they hear a great answer they know they have the right agent,” says Saltzman. Saltzman also gives sellers a behindthe-scenes look into the world of agents. Her honest and direct voice is refreshing for the industry. “You’ll probably want to buy this for all your (not-so-uptight) buyers and sellers. Not only does Saltzman guide clients on how to pick good agents, but she teaches them a whole lot about how to be good customers as well,” wrote book blogger, Meg White. Saltzman’s Jewish heritage features prominently in Arousing the Buy Curious, which worried her 95-year-old Jewish grandmother. Saltzman explains, “My grandmother calls me after reading the book and says, ‘I know your generation is a little different, but there sure is a lot of Jewishness in here. I know you’re proud, but do you really think it should be so much?’ ” Saltzman says the “Jewishness” of Arousing the Buy Curious was not a choice. “You can’t take the Jewish out of me, so I couldn’t take it out of the book. This book is written in my voice and my voice is decidedly, unabashedly Jewish,” she says. Grandma Potter’s only other comment was what she thought was a typo. “My grandma also told me that I misspelled boobs as moobs on page 186. But then I had to explain to her that moobs are a nickname for manboobs,” says Saltzman. Saltzman hopes that this kind of wacky language and the funny stories will help people learn her tricks and tips: “In the end I just want people to know that persuasive communication is an art and science, and it can be applied to real estate, business or any area of life.” To see Saltzman’s speaking events visit her website:


Calibrating your retirement account: Making market volatility work for – not against – you By Conrad Pearson If you are within 10 years of retirement, transitioning into retirement or already retired, I suggest taking a two-pronged approach to your personal investment decisions. 1) Use a more conservative investment strategy for some or all of your existing money. This would capture gains that may have been achieved year-to-date without sacrificing too much of your possible future gains. 2) Adopt a more aggressive investment strategy for the new money you invest each month. Significant drops in these small dollar amounts will not be so painful if the market drops substantially. In most cases, people use only one approach for both existing and new money. But “one size fits all” is no longer the best decision, especially considering the increasing volatility in stock market returns. Surprising Facts Many people are surprised to learn: Market volatility is increasing significantly. The number of trading days with 3% swings from high to low in one trading day is given below: 1983-1992, 53 days

1993-2002, 123 days

2003-present, 163 days1

Look at a Morningstar graph showing the S&P 500 performance for the decade of the 2000s, and you will notice two near-50% drops in the stock market during this period. The problems in the world, especially in the Middle East, could result in another precipitous drop. According to the Yale Center for Finance and Professor Roger G. Ibbotson, since stock market records were kept in the 1830s, there have been only two loss decades: one was the Great Depression in the 1930s and the other occurred in the 2000s. This same source shows that the decade of the 2000s was the worst for owning stocks. Even the 10-year spans that included the Civil War and WWI fared better. Sequence of Returns Risk If you have already retired, the order in which your investment portfolio returns occur can make the difference between a successful retirement and one that will require taking draconian measures, including going back to work, to make the numbers work. Typically, negative returns early in the process can have more of an impact than negative returns in later years. Using a $100,000 investment from which the investor withdraws $5,000 per year as illustration, we offer the first example:


Value of Investment

Including $5,000 Annual Withdrawal









































Second Example: Year


Value of Investment

Including $5,000 Annual Withdrawal









































Quite simply stated, a sharp drop early in the process means that there is a smaller amount remaining to benefit from any potential future growth. The difference between the two charts is simply the sequencing of the numbers.2 Contact your financial representative for more details about your personal goals and portfolio allocation. It is possible to get at least a rough idea of how your investment portfolio has done during the loss decade of the 2000s. Ask your representative to give this information to you. Ask him or her to tell you the worst one and three years your portfolio has experienced in terms of a percentage drop. I suggest that you get the performance numbers and then ask yourself if these numbers were repeated, would this significantly change your life? If it would, you may want to implement the two-pronged approach described above. Of course, past performance does not guarantee future results.

Conrad Pearson completed his studies at Portland State University earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in Middle East studies. He did additional graduate work at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, giving him the tools for providing risk analysis for Fortune 500 companies. For the past 28 years, Conrad has provided exceptional guidance to those looking for someone to assist them charting their personal and/or professional financial waters. He has been honored with numerous awards over the years for outstanding service to clients and exceptional ethics. He can be reached at Pearson Financial Group, 503-670-0500.

From presentation by John Kenney, CEO of Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, March 15, 2013. This example is for hypothetical purposes only. It is not intended to portray past or future investment performance for any specific investment. Your own investment may perform better or worse than this example. Securities and advisory services offered through SII Investment, Inc. (SII), member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. SII and Pearson Financial Group are separate and unrelated companies.

1 2



Oregonian “goes home” to retire … in Israel By Liz Rabiner Lippoff Medford residents Susan Holuber and her husband Aryha are both 63. While they still own the travel business they built together, they don’t do much with it anymore. She is retired and he works at Wal-Mart part time. Their world, however, is about to change. They are selling their house, packing up everything they own and retiring to Israel. It will actually be the second time Susan chucked it all and moved to Israel. “This time,” she says, “it’s final.” Susan was raised in a traditional but not particularly religious home in southern California. When she was 24, though, she moved to Israel. It was 1974: the kibbutz movement was in full swing and, with two children and little money, the idea of communal living was very appealing. It turned out to be ideal for several years. Susan was in charge of cooking breakfast for 45 adults every day, and she loved the work. Everyone else was Israeli, and her pancakes and hash browns soon had them enamored with American-style breakfasts. She had her own little house, and her children lived with everybody else’s in the children’s home. The result was actually real quality time with her kids. “I’d see them after breakfast for an hour or so,” she remembers. “They’d come to my house from 4 to 8 every day, and I had

Susan Holuber with her husband, Aryha Holuber, flanked by Mosh Holuber, left, and Danny, right.

nothing else I had to do but be with my children. Then they’d go back to the children’s home, and I’d go over at 9 o’clock to tuck them in.” When her son contracted meningitis, however, the communal decision-making process butted against what she wanted as a parent. He stayed with her to recuperate, but the community


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“I was raised in America. I love America. But Israel is home.” – Susan Holuber deemed him healthy enough to return to the children’s home before she felt he was ready. She packed them all up and they settled in Karmiel in northern Israel. It was there that she first grew Israeli roots. She became a licensed tour guide and operator, was one of the founders of Karmiel’s Conservative synagogue Kehillat Hakerem and became active in a club of American settlers. Later, as a tour guide in Tel Aviv, she met Aryha, “the most wonderful man in the world.” In 1997, with an offer to work at a travel business in Oregon, she and Aryha eventually settled in Medford, near Susan’s brother who lived in Grants Pass, and they created About Family Travel. “Of course we couldn’t recommend a family go someplace we hadn’t personally checked out,” Susan says, so for 15 years they made trips, especially to Israel, “to verify family-friendly activities.” And it was the lure of family-friendly activities that finally got them calling Realtors in Medford and in Karmiel. She says Karmiel is a city friendly to English speakers, “her” synagogue is flourishing, and the book club she founded is still active. But money will be tight, she acknowledges. No car. No luxuries. They do have one son in Texas. In Medford, though, they

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have no family at all. “When it’s time for the holidays, we always have to say, ‘Who should we invite to celebrate with us?’ and it’s never our own family.” In Israel they have seven children, 11 grandchildren, and one on the way. Susan is a cook! She wants to cook for her family. “We Skyped the kids and said ‘We’re coming! We’re coming home to Israel.’ ” Liz Rabiner Lippoff is a Portland freelance writer and a medical marketing specialist at Liz, ink:

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503.680.9407 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE | AUGUST 2013 61


Life on the Other Side


New Year, Old Memories

The mere mention of Rosh Hashanah generates a torrent of memories. Whether it is the solemnity of the Jewish New Year, the “official” end of summer and beginning of the school year, or perhaps the culinary customs we grew up with, most Jews will wax poetic with childhood recollections. My most poignant memories center around the synagogue, as my father was the cantor and that came with big implications. On the High Holy Days my friends and I hung around the synagogue steps until one of the ushers would come out and scold us. We were wearing new clothes (mine bought on New York’s Lower East Side) and new black patent leather shoes. The services seemed to take forever – we had to wait endlessly before we could enjoy the Kiddush and head home for lunch. The meal included sweet round challahs with raisins, served with honey, apples and honey; pomegranate seeds, a new fruit to us; gefilte fish, chicken soup, roast chicken and brisket; potatoes and salads; and the dreaded taiglach among the desserts (pyramid-shaped concoction of honey-drenched fried dough balls). I skipped the taiglach and went for the apple crumb cake. Living in Israel has exposed me to so many traditions, way beyond the Ashkenazi customs I grew up with. I feel so fortunate to experience the “hag” the way others enjoy it. My Sephardic friends, and especially their mothers, regale me with wondrous tales from “back home.” Wilma grew up in Tripoli, Libya, where life was fine until Israel became a state – then the situation for Jews throughout the Arab world changed dramatically. Her family left behind a wealthy lifestyle with expensive furnishings, household help and endless resources. “My mother wanted to create a special Rosh Hashanah atmosphere for us, and the fact that she had been forced to move from a mansion with maids to a tent in the desert didn’t rattle her. For the High Holidays, she took out the exquisite antique carpets from Persia that we had brought, unrolled them and decorated the floor of the tent – which was nothing more than sand and stones. I’ll never forget how important it was to her that our home look festive,” Wilma explains. Her treasured copy of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School book, a very old copy of a Jewish Libyan cookbook and La Cucina Nella Tradizione Ebraica issued by WIZO are the staples of her kitchen and enable her to preserve her holiday traditions (although I know for a fact that she remembers the recipes by heart and improvises as she sees fit). Linda, from Alepp, Syria, recalls her family traditions: “We all went to the Bet Knesset – even the women. When we returned 62 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Story by Anne Kleinberg

home the main meal would be served. On Rosh Hashanah we observed the custom of saying seven brachot before we ate.” She starts to recall the prayers and the food associated with each. “There was the head of the fish – and not the tail – so that you would always be in front and not trailing behind. There was the rimon (pomegranate) with its multitude of seeds – so that you will be fruitful and multiply. And of course apples with honey (this tradition seems to be global), and dates and pumpkin in sugar…” She remembers the black-eyed peas and the spinach with chickpeas. “But why we ate them, I don’t remember.” The fish they ate was carp – stuffed with rice and walnuts or pine nuts with a variety of spices. “We heard that over in Palestine they ate ground fish with sugar – we couldn’t believe that!” She laughs as she refers to the Ashkenazi staple of gefilte fish. Her father and his neighbor would gather hundreds of kilos of pomegranates around Rosh Hashanah time and bring them home. A major production ensued turning all the seeds into pomegranate juice and syrup. That is a family tradition Linda has continued with her husband. In Israel commercialism is alive and well as the gift shops are hopping with customers around the holiday. It is common to buy presents – for your family, your friends and of course your hosts if you’re lucky enough to be invited out. Lines are everywhere; ribbons and gift wrap have their very best season and every possible tchotchke is offered for sale and on sale. While it is usual for the synagogues in the United States to be filled to capacity on the hagim, here, too, non-observant Jews come out of the closet to listen to the shofar and attend Yom Kippur services. It’s universal – religious observances, culinary customs, festive meals with families and friends, reflection, repentance – all part of the excitement of the New Year. May yours be sweet. Shana Tova!

Anne Kleinberg, author of Menopause in Manhattan and several cookbooks, left a cushy life in Manhattan to begin a new one in Israel. Now she’s opened a boutique bed and breakfast in her home on the golf course in Caesarea. For details, visit and

[ISRAEL/An Israeli in Oregon]

So what if it’s hot? Hike to a water destination and stay cool Nahal Zavitan This water hike starts just outside the town of Katzrin. The first pools are about a mile in; after another mile, you’ll come to some deeper pools surrounded by perfectly formed six-sided and five-sided basalt columns. This hike ends at the 92-foothigh Zavitan Waterfall. Jilabun Slightly further north of Katzrin is the Jilabun Stream, which is marked by some impressive vertical rock walls, pools and waterfalls. The way into the canyon passes through Kfar Devora (where a Talmudic-era lintel was found). Hike through the streambed for about a mile until you reach the 134-foot Jilabun Waterfall. At the end of the hike is an “officer’s pool” (a concrete swimming pool like the one at Nahal HaKibbutzim) that was used by the Syrians until 1967.

Nahal Yehudia is a popular water destination for summer hikes.

By Natalie Nahome Israel has two main seasons: hiking season and stay-at-home season. The hiking season, which runs from May through September, is very hot and dry. But there is a way to survive the summer and still venture outside. Despite years of drought, there’s no shortage of great water hikes in Israel. Here are 10 favorites:

Nahal Snir Nahal Snir is unique for two reasons: part of the trail is wheelchair accessible, and it runs right through Dag al HaDan, a kosher fish restaurant with tables outside under the trees, set between the rivulets of the stream. There are multiple options for hiking the Snir. Natalie Nahome is the Israeli Shlicha (emissary) to the Jewish community of Portland.

The Darga Also known as “Nahal Dragot” in Hebrew, The Darga is located in the northern part of the Dead Sea. This tiyul (hike) is for experienced trekkers only, requiring rope in several locations to descend sheer cliffs sometimes 50 meters in height. The payoff is the many pools into which you either slide or jump. Wadi Kelt Wadi Kelt is one of the most popular hiking spots in Israel, drawing some 60,000 visitors a year. In this hike you can find a series of large pools clumped together. Some of the pools are deep enough for swimming. Ein Gedi The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve boasts two waterfalls. Easy access to the better known of the two is via Nahal David. The terrain is trickier but the waterfall is just as nice, and you can go in. For both routes, you can also hike above the waterfalls and look down for spectacular views. Nahal HaKibbutzim This water hike outside of Beit She’an, at the northern tip of the Jordan Valley, is perfect for families – the water doesn’t get higher than an adult’s chest. Plus you’ll be in the water the entire time. Kids love the water pipes that serve as slides. At the end of the hike is a large concrete-walled swimming pool that was built for officers during the British Mandate. Nahal Amud Intrepid Israelis seeking a challenge often embark on a three-day “Sea to Sea” hike from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee. But if you have only a few hours, head to what’s probably the prettiest section of the trip, Nahal Amud, which is located a few minutes from the kabbalistic city of Safed (Tzfat). The trail runs along the Amud Stream where you can take a dip at various spots. Nahal Yehudia In what’s known as “upper” Nahal Yehudia, there are two cliffs to climb down using rungs and ladders drilled into the side of the rock. There are several large pools, but the highlight of the trek is the 29-foot high Yehudia Falls. The Zaki The Zaki (“clear water” in Arabic) involves hiking in water together with swimming in some very deep lagoons (some as deep as 82 feet, others wading level). The Zaki is one of five streams in the Beit Tzaida Valley, just north of the Sea of Galilee. The trail ends in a nature reserve that serves as spawning areas.





[ISRAEL/An Oregonian in ISrael]

After 13 years, the truth on al-Dura may inspire positive change By Mylan Tanzer The greatest 20th century leader, who looked eye to eye with the greatest evil of the world at that time and did not blink, understood very well the tactical and strategic danger of lies to open democratic societies. In his typical fashion, Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.” In June the Governmental Investigative Committee set up by the Ministry for Strategic Affairs to examine the report by the France 2 TV network on the Mohammed al-Dura affair concluded, “The central claims and charges of the French news report were baseless with no proof of IDF responsibility.” As 13 years have passed (plenty of time to put on one’s pants), with so much damage done to Israel, there is a question as to how effective the report will be and if it even might be counterproductive. But the truth must be told. Buddha reportedly said, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” Thankfully, in the end, that sentiment was heeded here. There were questions from the beginning about the validity of the al-Dura incident. In that summer of 2000, soon after the breakdown of the Camp David summit when Yasser Arafat refused to accept Ehud Barak’s peace proposal, each side returned to Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, where security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority police, supplied with Israeli weapons, was continually evolving. For most Israelis, still scarred from the incomprehensible savagery of Palestinian suicide bombers blowing up Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem busses packed with innocent civilians in the mid-1990s, this cooperation offered cautious hope that perhaps an accord might slowly be built de facto from the ground up. This tenuous hope was soon brutally shattered. A sudden and violent outburst during the High Holidays quickly became known as the Second Palestinian Intifada. Erupting a few days after the end of the Sydney Olympics (which caught the international media looking for a new story), thousands of armed Palestinian police and civilians mobbed and attacked Israeli settlements, bases and positions with automatic rifles and Molotov cocktails. As a sovereign body with a police force, the Palestinians had an endless supply of mostly Israeli-supplied guns and bullets. The sudden explosion of violence was clearly orchestrated from above as Palestinian police, who were supposed to prevent violent mobs from attacking Israelis, instead stood behind the mobs firing their automatic weapons at Israeli targets. One such event occurred at the Netzerim Junction, a crossing point between Israel and Gaza. With Palestinian police spraying salvo after salvo in the direction of the Israeli position, Israeli soldiers responded. Palestinian Jamal al-Dura and a young boy, purported to be his son, Mohammed, were caught in the crossfire behind a concrete barrier. Despite a significant media presence at the junction (roughly the size of the Beaverton-Hillsdale/ 64 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Scholls Ferry/Oleson Road intersection), only Tallal AbuRahman, a Palestinian from Gaza freelancing for the France 2 network, filmed this event. The Israel-based reporter for France 2, Charles Anderlin, was not present, reminding me of George Santayana’s second most famous quote: “History is a pack of lies written by people who weren’t there.” The dramatic France 2 video was broadcast that day, voiced over with commentary implying the boy was killed by Israeli fire. Broadcast throughout the world, the video became one of the most memorable moments in the coverage of the Second Intifada, and perhaps of the entire conflict. Large segments of the international media and the Palestinian Authority instantly adopted it as the symbol of Palestinian bravery in the face of Israeli brutality. It shocked viewers indifferent to the violence of our region and reinforced hatred of Israel throughout many parts of the world. The name Mohammed al-Dura was exalted almost to sainthood status and turned into another symbol of resistance to Israel. Arab city leaders named thoroughfares after him, painted large urban murals of him and observed the anniversary of the Netzerim incident. Israeli complicity was further enhanced when Major-General Giora Eiland, the head of the National Security Council, admitted responsibility. Eiland rejected an investigation conducted at the time by Major-General Yom-Tov Samiah, head of Southern Command, which concluded it was not plausible that the death was caused by Israeli fire. In the ensuing Arab and international media circus, Jamal al-Dura achieved celebrity status and immense exposure as a heroic and grieving father and victim of Israeli brutality. When this exposure aroused the suspicions of Israeli orthopedist Dr. Yehuda David, the long road to the truth began. In 1994 the doctor treated Jamal al-Dura for gunshot and other wounds inflicted by Hamas, which suspected him of collaboration with Israel. When al-Dura displayed the scars from the Netzerim incident, David went public in France and Israel stating these were the exact same injuries he treated years before the incident. Together with evidence that was beginning to accumulate, he suggested that not only was Israel not responsible for the death of Mohammed al-Dura, but that he might not be dead at all. The additional evidence included a documentary by German journalist Esther Shapira, who painstakingly examined the angles with the help of physicists and ballistic experts – proving it was physically impossible for bullets fired from the Israeli position to have hit the alleged victims. She also revealed eyewitness testimony that, in contrast to the Israeli side, the firing from the Palestinian position was massive, wild and completely scattered, greatly increasing the plausibility that if the al-Duras were indeed hit by bullets, then it was from the Palestinian side. Questions were beginning to be asked about whether the al-Duras were hit by bullets at all, if Muhammed was killed

and if the boy in the France 2 video was actually Muhammed al-Dura. Doubts were raised because a Mohammed al-Dura had been reported at Shifa Hospital in Gaza at 9 am that day, while the Netzerim incident began after 3 pm. The more significant question was raised when several witnesses reported that in footage of the France 2 video that was not aired, it appeared the young boy was moving after he was supposedly shot and killed. Dr. David, who claimed that Mohammed al-Dura was alive in Gaza, and French Jewish politician Philippe Karsenty, who accused France 2 of airing a staged video, soon found themselves in court, sued by France 2. After initially losing the case in 2007, David appealed and last year was exonerated. The case between Karsenty and France 2 is ongoing. These two individuals (as well as Boston University Professor Robert Landes) are fighting their legal battles on their own. Karsenty has paid a great personal price but has succeeded in undermining the credibility of France 2. David, who served as a divisional surgeon under the command of current Defense Minister Ya’kov “Bogi” Ayalon, approached Ayalon, who then established the committee of enquiry in the last government when he served as Minister of Strategic Affairs. In addition to the above discrepancies, the committee also noted there was no sign of blood at the site only a few hours after the incident and that the bullet holes in the area could not have been caused by Israeli fire. Of no less importance, the report raised serious doubts regarding the ethics and practices of certain elements in the foreign media covering Israel. The reliance on local “fixers,” so widely used even today by the international media in the West Bank and Gaza, is responsible in large part for the prevalence of anti-Israel bias. Since many foreign reporters do not understand the context, fixer-generated, one-sided reports and video often get through the filters of the media outlets straight onto TV, computer and newspapers, causing irreparable damage to Israel’s besieged cause. The case of al-Dura might be one of the most extreme examples, but is far from the only case. Even though the government woke up very late, the France 2 Committee report hopefully will constitute a precedent, and individual attempts to refute continuing Palestinian attempts to lie through altered video and stills will receive government support. Knesset Member Nahman Shai, author of the book Media Wars, wrote when the report was released, “Israel cannot behave like an ostrich, lifting its head for an instant and then burying it in the sand again. Every time I asked why Israel did not try to verify the validity of the France 2 footage earlier, I was given the same banal response: ‘Why should we bring this subject up again? The dust has already settled.’ Yet this incident has not been forgotten. It still appears in the French media with the libel lawsuit against Karsenty.” Some will scoff, claiming the report’s objectivity is in doubt coming from a government committee, but Israel’s robust democracy prevents the kind of whitewashing these critics complain about. Will the international media admit their mistake? Not likely; but if they improve their reporting procedures to

prevent this kind of fiasco in the future, it will have been worth the wait. Furthermore, with what Israeli media watchers refer to as “Pallywood” continuing to churn out semi-staged video and altered stills to the international media, Israeli government resources and assets are crucial to fight this ongoing antiIsrael offensive that constantly attempts to portray Arabs and Palestinians as innocent, peace-loving victims of Israeli aggression. To the majority of the Israeli media who believe this issue should not have been revived for fear of further criticism, I bring to their attention something written by Hanoch Marmari, one of their most esteemed colleagues, who was editor-in-chief of the critical Ha’aretz paper during the Second Intifada. After the release of the report and the ensuing questioning by the media, he wrote: “The important lesson that I learned from years of covering the two intifadas is that there is no way to be a journalist with veiled eyes. And even when the purity of shame blurs the vision, it is forbidden to drop even in the most difficult circumstances, the basic tools of reporting: curiosity, skepticism and criticism. … It finally dawned on me how successful the Palestinian side has been at manipulating this embarrassment and shame of Israeli journalists like me as a tool in its struggle. … Whoever tried to continue to delve into this affair was perceived to be crazy or with a political agenda, or both. … We let this incident go especially when the flames engulfed the territories and our journalistic resources. Today it is clear that we should have been doubtful at what we saw, especially as the eyes were one camera only, that of Tallal Abu Rahman, a supplier of hot footage from the front, footage defined as Pallywood, the Palestinian video drama industry.” Finally, one welcome development should provide a significant boost to not only coping with Pallywood, but also in going on the offensive: July will see the launch of I 24, the first Israeli-based, 24-hour news channel broadcasting in English, French and Arabic. With new, modern studios in Jaffa, the first Israeli CNN-style operation, launched by French Jewish Cable TV mogul Patrick Derhi, will be available throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle and Far East. Unfortunately the American launch will be in 2014 at best, but in the meantime will be accessible via streaming on their website ( I wish them the best of luck and hope Derhi will be able to sustain this massive operation that will inevitably accumulate expenses exceeding revenue. It is crucial they succeed. Maybe the MSA can follow the belated commission of enquiry of the Mohammed al-Dura affair with another positive stop by supporting I 24 in a significant manner. Mylan Tanzer is a Portland native who moved to Israel in 1981. He was the founding CEO of the first Israeli cable and satellite sports channel. Since 2005, he has launched, managed and consulted for channels and companies in Israel and Europe. Tanzer lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and five children. He can be reached at



J-West Conference builds community for secular Jews

Rabbi Sherwin Wine (1928-2007), left, visited humanistic groups around the globe, including this 2005 visit to Kol Shalom in Portland. In 1969 Wine founded the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Humanistic, cultural and secular Jews from around the West will gather Labor Day weekend, Aug, 31 through Sept. 1, in Portland for the fifth annual J-West Conference. Hosted by Portland’s only Humanistic Jewish congregation, the Kol Shalom Community for Humanistic Judaism, it is a forum for secular and Humanistic Jewish organizations to share resources and gain inspiration for sustaining and promoting Jewish culture and history. The first conference, held in San Francisco in 2009 as an offshoot of the larger CSJO (Congregation of Secular Jewish Organizations) conference, was launched by several youth attendees in order to forge closer connections with Western and non-CSJO communities. Now a major interorganizational event, it serves as a way to bring cultural, Humanistic and secular Jewish groups together from the Western states and Canada. The conference is sponsored and attended by communities affiliated with the national organizations of the Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations, the Society for Humanistic Judaism, and Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Colorado. With nearly 40% of the American Jewish population identifying as secular or cultural (Kosmin, Barry, The Changing Population Profile of American Jews 1990-2008), the CSJO, SHJ and their affiliated communities were formed to offer a non-theistic alternative in Judaism. These communities celebrate Jewish holidays and Shabbat, creating rituals that honor tradition, but address Jewish values, culture and history without reference to the supernatural. They also offer children’s education and other traditional features of Jewish congregations. By building connections between Jewish communities, the J-West Conference promotes a feeling of inclusion in a larger community – of ‘klal yisrael’ (Jewish peoplehood). By increasing awareness of existing groups, it also builds the potential for partnerships and the sharing of resources such as teaching materials, fundraising ideas and rituals. This year’s meeting, titled “Then, Now and Tomorrow,” features two days of workshops and programs with a variety of interesting topics such as “Jewish Identity” and “Understanding How Secular Jews can Approach Jewish Holidays.” A “What Floats Your Boat” panel provides people from different J-West groups the opportunity to share information about their activities. The keynote speech, “Addressing the Future of Jewish Communities,” will be delivered by Marc Blattner, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. Panel 66 AUGUST 2013 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

discussions and workshops will cover a variety of other subjects including Jewish music, the background and history of secular Jewish communities, planning for the future, planning for High Holidays and organizing for social change. The “philosopher’s café” offers an opportunity for sharing and discussing meaningful issues as well as organizational topics. Attendees will have a chance to explore Portland with a walking tour based on Polina Olsen’s book, A Walking Tour of Historic Jewish Portland, as well as enjoying Portland museums, landmarks and the annual Art in the Pearl event.

All events will be held at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center. For more information, contact the conference organizers ( or Kol Shalom ( or 503-459-4210).

Kol Shalom ritual director Mary Raskin works with mitzvah students.

Kol Shalom Celebrates 20th Anniversary The Kol Shalom Community for Humanistic Judaism invites the community to its free 20th anniversary celebration Aug. 31. When Kol Shalom was formed in 1993 with only 11 households, Shabbats, board meetings and Sunday school were held in Jane and Mike Goldhammer’s large home. Today, more than 70 households belong to the congregation, which has headquarters and offices in Hillsdale. A member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, Kol Shalom is home to many in Portland who identify as cultural Jews but are secular in their beliefs. The congregation will celebrate its 20th anniversary Aug. 31 in Portland’s University Place Hotel ballroom at 7 pm. Festivities include congratulatory statements by Jewish Federation of Greater Portland CEO Marc Blattner and Oregon Area Jewish Committee Interim Director John Moss, music by Kol Shalom’s music makers and folk dancing. Jack Falk, host of the Yiddish Hour at KBOO Radio, and a klezmer band will spice up the fun. Kol Shalom invites the community to share this special occasion. Champagne and cake will be served. Kol Shalom provides an active social action presence in the community and offers children’s education classes including Sunday school as well as a mitzvah program. Adult programs range from Yiddish classes, to current events and book discussion groups. Regular Sabbath eve celebrations are held in the Kol Shalom Community Room and Havdalahs are held in members’ homes. Kol Shalom member Mary Raskin is studying to be ordained as a madrikha (lay leader) by the International Institute for Secular and Humanistic Judaism. No reservations are needed for the celebration but for more information, contact Kol Shalom at or call 503-459-4210.

[Happenings] Lift UP to honor Alan and Eve Rosenfeld Aug. 27 LIFT UP HONOREES Alan and Eve Rosenfeld are being honored with the Spotlight Award by Lift Urban Portland at the Summer Garden Party, the non-profit’s annual fund raising event. The celebration will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the World Forestry Center – under the tent!  A patron reception begins at 5 pm; general admission at 6:15. Lift Urban Portland is a network of local interfaith communities, businesses and individuals who support neighbors in need through coordinated volunteer efforts.  Founded in 1981 as Northwest Portland Ministries,  Lift UP serves low income residents, people living with disabilities and the elderly in the northwest and downtown Portland.  As a staff member of Congregation Beth Israel, Eve was one of the founders of Northwest Portland Ministries and has continued to be actively involved after more than 30 years of service.  Her husband, Alan, has been by her side contributing his organizational skills and energy to the many aspects of Lift UP, in particular, leading the meal delivery program for the annual Christmas dinner, an interfaith effort that serves more than 500 people each year at CBI. Tickets (patron $125, general $75) are available at or 503-221-1224.

State Senate honors Emily Georges Gottfried, z”l The Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, In memoriam: Emily Georges Gottfried, z”l, 1955-2013, was signed and filed with Secretary of State on June 18 after a unanimous approval by both the Oregon Senate and House. 

Oregon, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon Faith Roundtable Against Hunger, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Hunger Task Force, Oregon Muslim Citizens Alliance, Catholic Archdiocese and Congregation Beth Israel.

The resolution was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Interfaith Council of Greater Portland, Islamic Society of Greater Portland, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of

Gottfried was the exectutive director of Oregon Area Jewish Committee before her death in January after a short illness.

to recognize and appreciate the historic significance of communal leaders from each of the Abrahamic Faiths speaking as one. Christian, Muslim and Jew, sitting side by side at the testimony table, each offering words in complete agreement and harmony, all to honor the impact of a life dedicated to bridge building, social justice, and human rights for all.”

OAJC interim executive director John Moss says, “One has to stop for a moment,





D C A | HILLSBORO HOPS – George Weisz, a co-owner of the new minor league Hillsboro Hops team, was in the stands for the team’s home opening series. Weisz says about a quarter of the Hops’ 30 owners are Jewish. Weisz lives in Phoenix, home of the Hops’ parent club the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Hops’ season continues through August at Hiillsboro Ballpark; for tickets, visit hillsborohops. com. B | Adam Rosenberg, former Portland NCSY president and son of Rachel and Michael Rosenberg, has become an “Undergraduate Fellow in Jewish and American Ideas” at Yeshiva University’s Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought in New York. The Straus Center “seeks to cultivate the Orthodox intellectual and civic leaders of the future.” Rosenberg attended Congregation Kesser Israel in Portland. C | HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE – Rabbi Arthur Zuckerman, OHRC Executive Director Sonia Marie Leikam, author Alter Wiener, Raija Talus and Philip Mandel at the June 13 preview of a documentary Talus hopes to make about Wiener’s Holocaust experience, which he has chronicled in his book From A Name to A Number: A Holocaust Survivor’s Autobiography. The private event was held at the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center in June. Photo by Polina Olsen D | PAMTA HONOREES – At the Portland Area Musical Theater Awards June 24, Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg (left) and Julianne R. Johnson-Weiss (not pictured) won a PAMTA for best score for the musical theater version of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and Harrison and Berg won for outstanding song “I’ll Give You the Moon.” The show also won for best actor, actress, supporting actor, choreography and light design.  


[happenings/FACES] E | 80 YEARS YOUNG – Lifelong friends and longtime (and some long-ago) Portlanders gathered at the Multnomah Athletic Club July 15 to celebrate each other’s 80th birthdays. The first “birthday reunion” was held five years ago, and the friends are looking forward to the 85th. Pictured from left, front row, are: Donna Jackson, Ruth Gordin, Margaret Hasson and Elaine Cogan. Second row, from left: Maureen Horenstein, Ginny Siegler, Wilma Jane Balick, Shirley Nudelman, Ilaine Cohen, Davia Rubenstein, and Sharon Dochen, who came from Austin, Texas. Back row, from left:  Louise Ruben, Geri Matin, Joan Silver, Bernice Gevurtz and Rae Goldenberg  (not pictured Judy Feinstein).  The friends attended Lincoln, Grant and other schools, but often gathered for teenage Jewish clubs and other activities. Donna Jackson and Elaine Cogan even shared a locker at the “old” Lincoln High School. F | HORSING AROUND – Portland Jewish Academy teacher Susanna Perrin drives a cart pulled by Seuss the miniature horse with a student from the PJA Summer Discovery class in June. The “Horses and Ponies, Oh My!” class attracted 16 children for a week of activities such as horse-centered crafts, story reading and writing; learning facts about horses; and two hands-on horse encounters. Each day of the class focused on a different horses subject: wild horses, service horses, working horses, literary horses and others in the horse family, and mythical horses.





[happenings/August/September calendar]

­Aug. 1-18

Aug. 13

Sept. 5-6

Broadway Rose Theatre Company presents My Fair Lady by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Deb Fennell Auditorium, 9000 SW Durham Rd., Tigard. 503-620-5262

Epicurean Delights continues at Rose Schnitzer Manor with Tuscan Summer: Italian Farm to Table Recipes for Every Eater with Chef Abby Fammartino, the founder and owner of Abby’s Table in SE Portland. 6:45pm at 6140 SW Boundary St., Portland. 503-535-4004 or roseschnitzermanor. org

Rosh Hashanah. See service times in our online calendar at or visit congregations’ websites.

Aug. 2-4 Sephardic Shabbat at Seaside. Join Ahavath Achim and the Seattle Sephardic community for a weekend together on the Oregon Coast. For more information, email

Aug. 3 Ninth Annual Empowerment Day of Ovarian Cancer benefitting SHOC – the Sherie Hildreth Ovarian Cancer Foundation – features 5k/10k-walk/run and a 1-mile family walk. Registration/packet pickup begins at 6:30 am; opening ceremony 7:30 am at Team Latus Motors, 870 E. Berkeley, Gladstone., 503-869-9033 or

Aug. 6 “Epicurean Delights: Foods from Around the World,” a series of lectures exploring some of our favorite global cuisines, begins this week at Rose Schnitzer Manor at Cedar Sinai Park, 6140 SW Boundary St., Portland.  All lectures are open to the public and will be held on August Tuesdays at 6:45 pm in Zidell Hall. First lecture features Chef Earle Hook and John Attar, owner of Barbur World Foods and Ya Hala, a popular Middle Eastern restaurant in SE Portland. 503-535-4004 or

Aug. 7 Do you know the difference between a hora and a debka? Join in a fun, introductory class in the basics of Israeli folk dancing! All levels are welcome, $10 per class walk-in fee. Instructor: Allison Victor. 7-8 pm at the MJCC. Repeats Wednesday, Aug. 14, 503-244-0111

Aug. 9 Mizrach, Neveh Shalom’s Eastside community, will host Shabbat in the Park. All are invited. Please bring your own picnic, blanket and/or chairs. Begins at 6 pm, with service at 7 pm. Kiddush will be provided. Tabor Park, Site B, SE 60th & SE Salmon, Portland. Wendy Kahn, wkahn@

Aug. 11 Wandering in the Woods: A Portlander’s Search for Jewish Identity, by Ken Klein, takes place at 4:30 pm at the Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland. Admission is $8, $5 under 30 years. Contact Jennifer Greenberg, 503-293-7313 or

Aug. 16 Havurah Shalom Young Adults Kabbalat Shabbat Potluck and Service. A song-filled traditional Shabbat hosted in a communal Jewish home in NE Portland. This is a place for young adults to experiment with new ideas; we welcome everyone to join in on the fun, regardless of age. Vegetarian potluck follows. 6:30 pm. For location, contact Jacob Rosenblum, HamisheShteeb@ Erev Shabat in the Park led by Rabbi Ariel Stone and JD Kleinke. 6 pm at Laurelhurst park, Southeast Stark and Cesar Chavez Boulevard. Education@

Aug. 20 Epicurean Delights continues at Rose Schnitzer Manor at Cedar Sinai Park with The Art of French Baking with Master Baker Dominique Geulin and Mina LaFountain at 6:45pm. 6140 SW Boundary St., Portland. 503-535-4004 or

Aug. 25 The High and the Holy: Preparing for Rosh Hashanah, led by Rabbi Pam Frydman, will be take place from 1 to 5 pm at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 East 29th Ave., Eugene. $18 TBI and Ad Olam members; $36 guests. Register online at tbieugene. org or 541-485-7218

Aug. 27 Bosnian Cuisine: Traditional Food with Samira Karajcic will be the final event in the Epicurean Delights series at Rose Schnitzer Manor at Cedar Sinai Park. 6140 SW Boundary St., Portland. 6:45 pm. or 503-535-4004

Sept. 2 Celebrate Back to Shul with Congregation Neveh Shalom. 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland at 11am. Open to everyone interested in exploring the Conservative congregation. Jennifer Greenberg, 503-293-7313

Sept. 8 Fast of Gedaliah Tashlich Bike Ride at 12:45 pm. Begins at Congregation Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland. Noa Rubin,

Sept. 9 Kehillah Housing Dedication, 3:30 pm at Cedar Sinai Park/Robison Jewish Health Center, 6125 SW Boundary St., Portland. Kehilla Housing is a new two-story, 14-apartment building for adults with special needs. Barbara Taylor, 503-535-4393 or

Sept. 13 Kol Nidre (Yom Kippur begins at sunset). See service times in our online calendar at or visit congregations’ websites.

Sept.14 Yom Kippur. See service times in our online calendar at or visit congregations’ websites.

Sept. 15 Portland Jewish Academy/PJ Library Sukkah Party takes place at MJCC. For time, call 503-244-0111

Sept. 19-26 Sukkot

Sept. 26 Shemini Atzeret. See service times in our online calendar at or visit congregations’ websites.

Sept. 27 Simchat Torah. See service times in our online calendar at or visit congregations’ websites. Add your events to Oregon Jewish Life’s online calendar. Go to Scroll down to “Add an Event” on bottom right of the home page. Click there. Include location and contact information in Event Description box.

Sept. 4 Erev Rosh Hashanah. See service times in our online calendar at or visit congregations’ websites.

OJM is the Oregon Jewish Museum, 1953 NW Kearney, Portland. 503-226-3600 MJCC is the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland. 503-244-0111





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Oregon Jewish Life Vol.2/Issue 7  

Larry Chusid: Nourishing families' souls one bowl of kibble at a time. Special sections: Back to School: Look what's nu in Oregon;s schools....

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